Indiana University researchers project that a new Indianapolis grocery store will bring more than $11 million to Marion County’s economy. This is indicated by a report from the Institute of Public Policies of the university. The researchers estimate that an additional $4.6 million in annual wages and benefits will accrue.
The grocery store, Indy Fresh Market, will open early next year. It will be the only full grocery store in the Northeast Arlington Woods neighborhood.
Tom Guevara is the executive director of the Public Policy Institute at Indiana University. He was the lead author of the report. He says that because the market will be owned and operated by community members, most of the economic benefits will be local.
“When you think about the neighborhood and the fact that there’s a conscious effort to provide economic opportunities as well as other quality of life improvements through the benefits of the grocery store, I think that’s a very significant impact for the community”. Guevara said.
Indy Fresh Market is part of a neighborhood revitalization effort called the 38th and Sheridan project. The project is the result of a unique collaboration between the community, Cook Medical, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, United Northeast Community Corporation, IMPACT Central Indiana and Martin University.
It will be located next to the Cook/Goodwill manufacturing facility. Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana built the facility to manufacture medical devices, including catheters and drainage needles, for Bloomington-based Cook Medical. And residents partnered with Goodwill and Cook to ensure the business plan included a significant investment in the community. The nearly 50,000-square-foot facility opened in May. Cook Medical engaged more than 40 business and social service partners to provide support to the community.
READ MORE: Closely watched corporate community development plan launched in Indianapolis
Researchers from the Public Policy Institute spent months interviewing community members to assess their needs and satisfaction with the project. Interviewees said they are concerned about the current lack of access to food. They also hope Indy Fresh Market will become a neighborhood mainstay that reflects the demographics of the area, according to the study.
“By being committed to the neighborhood, Cook was able to discern that having access to good quality food is an important factor so that workers and potential workers can focus on their work and focus on improving their communities.” Guevara said.
Northeast native Michael McFarland will own and operate the site along with his friend Marckus Williams. The two have been working to deal with food insecurity in the neighborhood for years.
Two years ago, McFarland and Williams founded Wall Street Grocery, a small convenience store on 38th Street. And when Cook Medical and Goodwill chose the neighborhood, they connected with McFarland and Williams.
READ MORE: Indianapolis entrepreneurs prepare to operate new grocery store funded by Cook Medical
In recent years, large grocery stores have closed their doors and left the neighborhood. McFarland says what was missing was a connection to the community.
“They don’t ask for community input, most of the time they go against the will of the community,” he said. “So I think being from the community, having a family from the community, it gives us a little bit more enthusiasm to give it our all and make sure we deliver.”
The market will open in the spring of 2023. Cook will transfer operations and ownership to McFarland and Williams through a lease-to-own model.
Research on the 38th and Sheridan project can be found on the Public Policy Institute website.
Last weekend, I wrote about Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could be…
Last weekend, I he wrote on Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could…
Last week, the chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell said, "the disinflationary process has begun".…
Earlier this week, I joined Romaine Bostick and Scarlet Fu Bloomberg TV. The Congressional Budget…
Tomorrow morning, I'll be joining CNBC's Squawk Box to talk about a new effort tax…
Former Vice President Mike Pence talks about privatizing Social Security. The remarks came Thursday before…