Progress continues to be made on efforts to bring a full-service grocery store to southeast Fort Wayne at 918 E. Pontiac St. to provide healthy food options in an area that is currently defined as a food desert.
As part of the next steps in the process, the City of Fort Wayne announced that Parkview Regional Medical Center and Affiliates (PRMC) will be the community partner on the project known as the Pontiac Street Market and an agreement between the City and PRMC has been reached. PRMC will provide financial support through its Community Health Improvement program and, along with its vendor partner Sodexo, manage store operations.
The City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division and Parkview are looking forward to bringing one of the top priorities identified through several community meetings as part of the Southeast Strategy to reality, a grocery store. City leaders continue to be encouraged by the support from the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, City Council, and the public as work continues to bring the grocery store to completion.
However, the Grocery Store location has created an emotional response from the local art community, as the new building would coverup a recently painted two-story mural, titled “Truth” created by Theoplis Smith, Lyndy Bazile, Teresa Yarbrough, and Ron Lewis. Many have spoken out on social media and there has been much debate about relocating the proposed location of the Grocery Store.
The Redevelopment Commission and City Council will need to approve various aspects of the grocery store. The governing bodies will consider those requests at meetings later this month. Upon receiving all necessary approvals, construction could begin in February 2023 with the grocery store opening in the fall of 2023.
“It’s vital to meet the needs of the community as we work each day to provide excellent quality of life opportunities for the health and well-being of our residents,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “We are encouraged by the positive momentum and growth we are experiencing in southeast Fort Wayne with public and private partnerships that will have a lasting and meaningful impact. Southeast Fort Wayne is moving forward in the right direction.”
“Parkview understands that access to high-quality, healthy food is foundational for health,” said John Bowen, president, Parkview Regional Medical Center and Affiliates. “Supporting the City on this project allows Parkview to expand its work to increase access to nourishing food and provide resources that will help pave the way to a healthier community.”
Community engagement will be part of the efforts to ensure residents and neighborhoods continue to be included in this unique endeavor.