Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Lt. Governor Brown Join Community Celebration and Ribbon Cutting for ShopRite of Howard Park

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Brandon M. Scott
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Images from the grand opening of ShopRite of Howard Park

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Lt. Governor Brown Join Community Celebration and Ribbon Cutting for ShopRite of Howard Park

City's Largest Grocery Store, First in Howard Park Area Since 1999, Brings 250 New Jobs to the Community

BALTIMORE, Md. (July 31, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Lt. Governor Anthony Brown; Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) President & CEO Brenda McKenzie; representatives of Klein's Family Markets; other elected officials; civic and religious leaders; and residents of the northwest Baltimore community of Howard Park for the long-awaited grand opening of the ShopRite of Howard Park supermarket.

"A key goal of my Administration is growing Baltimore City by 10,000 families over the next decade. In order to grow a city, you have to both attract new residents and give those residents already here more reasons to stay. For me that means ensuring that every family, no matter their income or where they live, has access to quality, affordable and nutritious food options," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "Right now, too many people in Baltimore lack easy access to groceries. Today has done nothing but strengthen my resolve and deepen my commitment to eliminate the word "food desert" from Baltimore's vocabulary. This store will be an anchor to community food systems here in Baltimore."

Located at 4601 Liberty Heights Avenue, between Hillsdale Road and Gwynn Oak Avenue, the 68,000 square foot full-service supermarket will offer a wide array of groceries, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, and baked goods, as well as natural, organic, and gluten-free products and a full-service pharmacy. The supermarket houses a Q-Care Health Suite, which will provide walk-in care for children and adults starting in October 2014. The health suite will be managed by Park West Health Care System, in partnership with nonprofit UpLift Solutions.

The supermarket houses two community rooms. In addition, ShopRite worked closely with Baltimore City Schools to design and build a kitchen classroom inside the Calvin Rodwell Elementary School, located across the street from the supermarket, to support the school's culinary arts program.

ShopRite of Howard Park, a $25 million project, is the first supermarket for Klein's Family Markets in Baltimore City. The Klein Family owns and operates eight other ShopRite stores in Harford and Baltimore counties. UpLift Solutions, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to fresh and affordable food in underserved communities, helped develop the store.

The supermarket will bring 250 new jobs to the Howard Park community and will be an integral part of improvements being made to the landscape of Liberty Heights Avenue.

"We are very excited to expand our service further into the City of Baltimore with the opening of a ShopRite in the Howard Park community," said Marshall Klein, chief operations officer for Klein's Family Markets. "We are committed to bringing ShopRite's unique services and traditional low prices to this new location, and we look forward to having a positive impact on the community."

The Howard Park neighborhood, designated by the USDA as a food desert, has been without a grocery store for 15 years. Klein's Family Markets, the Maryland Transit Administration, and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation collaborated to design a parking lot that includes a major bus stop at the store's front entrance to improve food access for the entire community.

Since 1999, community leaders, elected officials, and the City of Baltimore, have worked to bring a supermarket to the Howard Park neighborhood. BDC assembled the site by relocating businesses and residents, demolishing existing structures, and remediating the area for developers. BDC also connected Klein Family Markets with the Baltimore Department of Social Services and the Mayor's Office of Employment Development to help fill the jobs created by the supermarket.

"The new ShopRite is an important signal for Howard Park and the surrounding area," said Brenda McKenzie, president & CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation. "This truly is an anchor, so we're working with the community to build on the success of the supermarket to activate new commercial activity moving forward. This project stands as an example of successful public-private collaboration that we would like to see replicated in other neighborhoods across the city."         

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