The Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc. held an open house Saturday, Feb. 20, to reveal the blueprints of a new South Side grocery store.
Wearing winter coats, hats and gloves, community members and elected officials gathered at 611 South Ave. to view the plan that will transform the 22,000 square-foot building into a 33,000 square-foot community supermarket that will include a cafe, credit union, dry cleaner and pharmacy.
Lead Project Manager Patrice Chang said the Neighborhood Supermarket Initiative aimed to create “a pleasant place” in the community where residents could “work, live and play.”
“The bigger picture is to demonstrate a comprehensive development plan for the South Side of Syracuse,” Chang said.
As part of the Midland-Lincoln-Bellevue Project, the The Neighborhood Supermarket Initiative will play an important role in the economic revitalization of the South Side.
Chang emphasized the importance of providing employment opportunities to local residents, buying inventory from local growers and food producers and investing in local businesses to keep supermarket profits cycling within the community.
“We want to provide a blueprint of how people can work together in a collaborative way,” she said.
The collaboration with residents and community-based initiatives will play an integral part in the development of the Neighborhood Supermarket Initiative.
Recently, the initiative worked with the young men and women of YouthBuild, a program that provides high school dropouts with job training while assisting them to obtain a GED, to create a footprint of the South Avenue building that enabled architects to draft a blueprint. They also assisted with community outreach, which contributed to the high number of Jubilee Shopper’s Club Cards and community support.
“This is a good opportunity for these young people to do something that has a positive to impact their community,” said Melvin Baker, director of YouthBuild.
Construction of the supermarket is projected to begin January 2011 after funding is secured.
Deputy Commissioner Sharon Owens, Monique Williams from the Syracuse School Districts Board of Education, State Assemblywoman Joan Christensen and Syracuse Common Council’s Majority Leader Kathleen Joy were among the local officials who attended the open house.
“We are supportive of this,” Joy said. “When you can rally around something that is good and positive, how can you not support it?”
For more photos, visit The Stand’s flickr site