Council to look at downtown grocery study
Study: Southtown best place for new grocery
On Wednesday in B session, the San Antonio city council will listen to recommendations from a city-commissioned supermarket study that looked at the feasibility of grocery stores in the downtown center.
According to the study residents, tourists and workers combine for nearly $40 million in grocery spending power.
The study listed 13 locations in the downtown core as possible grocery store sites for stores between 15,000-20,000 square feet in size. The top two suggested spots were Hemisfair at 601 East Cesar Chavez and a San Antonio ISD parking lot at 600 East Cesar Chavez.
"We're hoping to use this study to help attract a grocer or developer to come downtown and build a grocery store we need to help support our downtown residential units," said Lori Houston, the director of the City Center development office. "We'd be offering incentives to a developer or grocer to build a grocery store that's in line with the study."
Two of the locations listed were on Broadway near the Pearl Brewery but they did not include 1611 Broadway, the site of a former car wash. A developer has plans to tear it down and build a three-story building with a small grocery store on the first level.
County Commissioner Kevin Wolff and his wife are in negotiations to put in a grocery store there that's about half the size of the study's recommendation.
"We also think that based on where we're currently negotiating, you'd be hard pressed to find a better place in the city to do this type of store," said Kevin Wolff. "The density has developed so much in and around the Pearl that it can support something like this."
Wolff said he and his wife would not seek any incentives offered by the city and questioned whether that was the best use of funding by the council. He said their store would rely on foot traffic for roughly 60-65% of their business and the Pearl is the only location that makes sense.
"If I had to pick one spot in the entire city where you can do something like this, it's where we're going," said Wolff.
"The demand for grocery will increase so you might see other grocery stores pop up in the downtown area," added Houston.
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