A small grocery store will anchor a large mixed-use project in an area considered a food desert in West Baltimore’s Poppleton neighborhood, the developer announced.
La Cité Development has reached an agreement with Market Fresh Gourmet to open an 8,000-square-foot grocery store at its Center\West project just north of the University of Maryland BioPark and west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The neighborhood has limited access to affordable and nutritious food.
Market Fresh, a minority-owned business based in Prince George’s County’s Capitol Heights, will offer fresh and prepared foods, along with workforce development programs and classes and special events for the neighborhood.
The store will be the brand’s first in the city. The Baltimore Development Corp. worked with the grocer to find the location and is helping the business expand in Baltimore, said Colin Tarbert, BDC’s president and CEO, in the announcement.
The business is backed by the Arctaris Impact Fund, which focuses on building sustainable communities in the city.
Construction is expected to start this spring on the ground-floor space in an apartment building on the northwest corner of Fayette and Schroeder streets.
La Cité has plans to redevelop nearly 33 acres in the area, eventually constructing 1,800 units of a mix of affordable and market-rate housing in four phases. Two five-story apartment buildings with 262 units were completed last year after long delays and began leasing.
As other phases of the Center\West project open, the grocer expects to expand in size.
The store plans not only to recruit workers from the neighborhood but also to sell local products and help those businesses “gain exposure and build their brands,” said Mario Minor, CEO of the grocer, which is opening its first store this year.