Chester breaks ground on new supermarket
SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2013
CHESTER — The days of Chester being a food desert – lacking a supermarket for more than a decade – are numbered.
City officials ceremoniously Friday broke ground on a new grocery store, an act that signified the end to a longtime void. The Bottom Dollar Food store being constructed at 15th Street and Edgmont Avenue will provide residents a grocery store within the city limits, a commodity Chester has lacked for more than a decade.
“This is going to mean a whole lot to the residents that live in the (nearby) Palmer House,” said Bruce Rucker, a resident who stopped by the groundbreaking ceremony. “It’s going to be more convenient for them. They’re not going to have to do as much travelling on the bus.”
Bottom Dollar, a soft-discount grocer, will be open seven days per week and is expected to provide 40-50 jobs. The project is being developed without the assistance of public dollars or tax exemptions.
“Over the years, we’ve asked and asked and pushed and tried to get a market here,” Mayor John Linder said. “I think Bottom Dollar is the right market, the right size, the right quality and the right place at the right time.”
Construction begins Monday. The store is expected to open in 2014.
“I can’t wait until we can open the doors and provide this community with wholesome nutritious foods,” Bottom Dollar District Manager Bruce Meidinger said.
State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester, championed the addition of a grocery store for years. He said the grand opening will be heavily anticipated.
“I know folks are going to come through the doors with a whole lot of expectations,” Kirkland said. “They’re going to be happy. They’re going to be grateful. Then, they’re going to see people from their community behind the counter working. … It’s going to be real nice.”
The city also will be gaining a nonprofit grocery store operated by Philabundance in September. Another proposal exists to bring a Dollar General Market to the city but is contingent on the developers being awarded a state grant.