WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - An urban market that has found success at another Big 10 university has staked its claim on part of the new 720 Northwestern building being constructed just off Purdue's campus.
According to representative Ron Giordan of Fresh City Market (a company with a University of Wisconsin grocery store), the company will open a market right in West Lafayette – and within walking distance for many students.
Giordan says doors are slated to open in August of 2014, right across the street from Mackey Arena.
The new market will be part of a multi-use development that includes 230 apartments and 42,000 square feet of retail space.
Its name? Fresh City Market.
"The Fresh City Market is a family affair," Giordan says. "Jeff Maurer and his daughter, Kristie, run the current market in Madison and will be bringing their independently owned family business and values with them to West Lafayette."
Owner Jeff Maurer says he began developing the Fresh City Market concept 5 years ago when he saw the need for fresh food and groceries in urban locations near college campuses.
He says the grocery will cater to Purdue's diverse, multi-cultural community without sacrificing the intimacy of a smaller store.
"Urban and campus groceries are much different than the ‘big box' stores you see dotting suburban areas," Maurer said. "They have to be."
The new market will take up 22,000 square feet and create jobs for more than 100 people with full-time staff receiving benefits.
West Lafayette City Councilman Eddie VanBogaert (D) says this decision has been a long time coming.
"A lot of research went into finding the right anchor tenant for this development, and I was really excited last summer when they signed a letter of intent on this space," VanBogaert said.
VanBogaert also said the company is backed by good word of mouth.
"They come very highly recommended from my counterpart on the city council in Madison," he said. "The sustainable practices and grocery delivery are great, but they also have a reputation for treating their student employees really well, which often gets overlooked."
Giordan said the market will include a Caribou Coffee Shop and in-store seating to enjoy ready-to-eat hot foods from the deli bar. There will also be a community and events room available to neighbors, community groups or businesses.
On top of all that, there will also be a full-service chef's kitchen where the company plans to hold cooking classes.
The company says it plans on committing itself to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. This includes the use of new Freon for commercial air conditioners/coolers that does not add to ozone depletion, energy-efficient/CO2 emission reduction coolers and 100-percent LED lighting.
You can find out more about Fresh Lafayette Market at its website.
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