By Don Bradley
Red Bridge Shopping Center has its new grocery tenant.
In a plan announced early Thursday, Red Bridge Farm Fresh Market will open in the former Sun Fresh space at 11212 Holmes Road in south Kansas City. The store will be the sixth for the locally-owned Hispanic grocery chain and the first to be American based.
The announcement came at a press event in front of the store attended by company and city officials, including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Moe Muslet, manager of the new market, said the store should open in the fall after extensive remodeling with expanded bakery, produce and deli sections. The fresh meat counter will have butchers on site.
The building went up with Red Bridge Shopping Center back in the 1950s as a grocery store. Over time, other stores outgrew the building’s 35,000 square feet.
Muslet didn’t think size would be a problem.
“Better selection, better prices, that’s how we’re going to compete with the big boys,” Muslet said.
Lucas talked about the neighborhood’s vocal desire for a replacement ever since Sun Fresh closed in late January.
“We are pleased to announce a grocery store is coming back,” Lucas said.
Lucas said the development was made possible by a $1.375 million Tax Redirection Agreement with Kaw Fresh Market LLC spread over 10 years which will use sales tax funds to help fund the project. The store will provide about 80 jobs at an average wage of $17 per hour. The store will also provide healthy nutrition options and should end any talk of the area being a food desert.
“Red Bridge is strong and vibrant,” Lucas said.
The mayor credited 6th District at-large Council member Andrea Bough for her work in getting the project done.
“It’s only been about four months and that’s not very long in the retail food industry,” Bough said.
Brandon Buckley, a partner with Red Bridge owner Lane4 Property Group, said the company heard from hundreds of area residents who made clear they wanted the site to continue as a grocery store.
“We feel we found the perfect fit,” Buckley said.