New market planned for downtown Louisville

Fincastle Building (Source: WAVE 3 News/ Michael Williams)
Fincastle Building (Source: WAVE 3 News/ Michael Williams)
Updated: Jan. 9, 2018 at 7:49 PM EST
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(Source: WAVE 3 News/ Michael Williams)
(Source: WAVE 3 News/ Michael Williams)
Abdul Alshawi (Source: Abdul Alshawi)
Abdul Alshawi (Source: Abdul Alshawi)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One neighborhood in Louisville's food desert is getting some relief.

A "food desert" is an area where access to affordable, healthy food options like fresh fruits and veggies is limited or nonexistent because grocery stores are too far away.

When Kroger on South Second Street and First Link Supermarket said goodbye to downtown, people who live and work in the community were worried, and asked business leaders to step in.

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The Omni Hotel was first to announce its Urban Market, which will open soon with prepared food and some traditional groceries.

Now, a local business owner has plans to bring fresh food inside the historic Fincastle building in downtown Louisville. That's on Broadway at Third Street.

The Superior Market and Deli will open in the vacant space between St. Francis High and The Brown Hotel around April or May 2018.

"Everything being fresh made, everything being Kentucky Proud," said Mark Suna, the commercial realtor who put the lease deal together for the market.

Suna pointed to blueprints, "Here's your deli area where the sandwiches will be made," he continued. "We'll be putting in new ceiling, new floor, new walls."

Suna, who has a good friend who owns the building, worked the deal to lease the 5,400 square foot space to Louisville businessman Abdul Alshawi.

Alshawi said of the grocery, "I think it's a good idea, I think it's going to work."

A clothing store sitting in the middle of the space will soon move out. Suna said he plans to help Alshawi open the market. He maintains smaller, neighborhood markets are the way to go downtown.

"It's hard to have a 40,000 square foot grocery, urban environments are more transient, people come in and come out," Suna said. "They work downtown they want to live downtown."

The two based the idea on east coast bodegas. They are planning to have a deli, salad bar, fresh fruits and vegetables, the usual grocery staples along with donuts and coffee.

"I think it's going to be very important because it will be a one-stop-shop where you can get everything in one place," Alshawi said.

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Alshawi hopes to hire 30 full and part-time employees and says friends and family are very enthusiastic and eager about the new venture.

"They are very excited, they cannot wait," Alshawi said.

The investment in the new market is about a $250,000.

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