Tonight the City of North Charleston will discuss plans to develop a grocery store at the old Shipwatch Square. The conversation at tonight’s city council meeting will focus on incentives to attract the grocery store.
The south end of the City has been described as by the USDA as a “Food Desert”. The grocery store is one part of the larger development on the property.
Here’s the problem.
Until the whole project is completed, a full service grocery store cannot be sustained by the current population demographic, according to a report from the city’s staff. The plan being discussed Thursday is to alleviate the financial constraints on the grocery store by allocating $100,000 per year for five years to offset the cost of rent for the grocer.
In the event grocer does not stay open for business as a full service grocery store for the entire five year period, any money paid by North Charleston under the incentive package would be repaid within six months of the store closing.
On April 20, 2017, the Finance Committee voted to recommend approval of the resolution as presented. The full council reviews the resolution tonight at 7:00 p.m.
According to the City Council, establishing a full service grocer will improve the health and wellness of citizens by providing access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy food options.
The proposed Piggly Wiggly would be a full service grocery store consisting of a minimum of 30,000 square feet.