Red Bridge Farm Fresh Market could open in south KC addressing food desert

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 9:05 AM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 10:18 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A new grocer is taking over the former Red Bridge Shopping Center’s Sun Fresh store which closed earlier this year to combat the food desert.

Community members were fearful the building on Holmes Road in south Kansas City would stay vacant as nobody wants to make a 20-minute drive to get basic needs. Soon, they may not have to fear with the new, affordable “Red Bridge Farm Fresh Market.”

A KCTV5 crew spoke with community members near the store in February when the closing was announced. South KC Alliance President John Sharp said then that nobody wants to live in a neighborhood where they have to make a 20-minute drive to get basic needs for their household.

“For every NFL draft, for every World Cup conversation, for every Power and Light, know that each day city government, the EDC [Economic Development Corporation], your city council offices, your mayor’s office, is working hard to make sure we can revitalize an area like this one,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Finding a new grocer was LANE4 Property Group Vice President Brandon Buckley’s top priority in February. They’ve found people for job, but still have to wait final approval from city council.

“Although this process has come to come together pretty quickly over the last four months, it’s something we’ve been working on for years and been unable to make it happen. With that in mind, I sincerely appreciate the city’s involvement, mayor’s office, council members, edc, and everybody’s involvement to help move that forward,” said Buckley.

Farm Fresh management wants communities to thrive in the area with easier access to not just food, but healthy food. Partner Operator Moe Muslet said they have specific characteristics they want to follow for the community.

“As local, family-owned business owners, we eagerly look forward to serving our community in a neighborly environment where our customers are treated like family,” he said.

This new market will also create more than 80 minimum-wage jobs.

Lucas said this market will be funded through a $1.375 million tax redirection over 10 years with the City of Kansas City. But again, it awaits official approval at this time.

“What that means is that this project will be funding itself in so many words to make sure that as the years go by, it’s the shoppers, it’s the fees that are paid here that are going to pay for the project.”

Buckley said they will have to re-construct and re-design the building inside and out once the ordinance is approved. He hopes it opens for business by the new year.

Lucas announced the city’s partnership with ownership of Red Bridge Shopping Center at 8 a.m. on Thursday alongside Sixth District-at-Large Councilwoman Andrea Bough, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City President Tracey Lewis, Muslet, and Buckley.

The USDA Food Access Research Atlas shows low-impact and low-access areas to healthy food, AKA food deserts. The color system tracts where a significant number or share of residents is more than 1 mile or 10 miles from the nearest supermarket, and the Kansas City metro has several areas highlighted.