Study plots potential impact of Fresh Market planned by Cook Medical plant

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The Indy Fresh Market grocery store expected to open in late 2023 as part of the broader revitalization of the 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue area could have a one-time economic impact of $11.1 million, as well as an annual impact of $4.6 million in wages, benefits and other spending.

The estimates were revealed Monday with the unveiling of an economic impact study by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute.

The 16,700-square-foot store will be located at 6190 E. 38th St. It would employ 39 people, and another 22 full-time-equivalent jobs would be created for related businesses due to the store’s operations, according to the study.

Players in the public-private partnership that has led to the creation of a Cook Medical manufacturing plant in the Arlington Woods neighborhood are also behind the plans for the Fresh Market, to be located next door.

Bloomington-based Cook Medical will build the store, with the goal of using 100% minority-owned contractors. Other partners in the collaboration are Impact Central Indiana, Martin University and Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana.

Goodwill will provide wrap-around services to employees, including housing support, legal aid, and health care.

Indy Fresh Market aims to increase food access in the Arlington Woods neighborhood. The area is classified as a food desert, which means most residents live over a mile from a grocery store. According to the study, 47% of Marion County residents live in a food desert.

“Through neighborhood meetings and conversations around the development of the manufacturing facility, we recognized that lack of access to fresh food options is a stumbling block to residents’ success,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical.

The $11.1 million estimate for one-time impact is based on an initial investment of $7 million for construction, land, and equipment, plus an additional $4.1 million of “indirect and induced economic activity,” according to the report.

Michael McFarland and Marckus Williams, former owners of the 2,000-square-foot Wall Street Convenience, will operate the store and eventually become owners. McFarland, 36, was shocked to see community grocery stores shuttered when he returned home from his seven-year stint in the military.

“I was just really devastated and I didn’t really understand how a city like Indianapolis can have problems like this,” McFarland said.

Both McFarland and Williams will attend Martin University to increase their business education as the university creates a retail certification program.

The store was announced in May 2021 and is scheduled to be complete in late 2023.

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8 thoughts on “Study plots potential impact of Fresh Market planned by Cook Medical plant

    1. It is true – poverty is a stain on our country and it is pathetic that our citizens are forced to steal food as our current structure of capitalism is failing 20% of our citizens…

    2. Don’t you mean “It’s sad that 20% of our citizens prioritize new tattoos and designer hand bags over feeding their families”…..?

    3. More like we have 20% who would rather not work and let someone else take care of them.

  1. Aldi closed a store less than a mile from this site several years ago, about the same time Walmart closed its neighborhood market two miles away. Kroger closed their grocery about a mile and a half away not long afterwards.

    I’m not exactly sure how these guys think they are going to keep the doors open.

  2. “According to the study, 47% of Marion County residents live in a food desert.”

    According to Google the population of Marion County was 957,337 in 2020. Therefore this meaningless statistic indicates that 449,948 people live more than one mile from the nearest grocery store.

    According to a recent statistic the typical trading area of a store is 3 miles. Does this mean that we should triple the number of grocery stores so that everyone lives one mile or less from the nearest grocery store? Maybe that person does not like the nearest store brand and prefers to shop elsewhere. Why not work on transportation solutions for folks that have difficulty traveling 3 miles to the nearest store instead of a worthless statistic that 47% of Marion County residents live more than one mile from the nearest grocery store.