In 2013, Reinvestment Fund financed the acquisition and renovation of a small, multi-tenant, primarily commercial center with a dark supermarket space in a Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) area in Bethlehem, PA. The project will help expand the former supermarket into a large, full-service C-Town Supermarket, focused on catering to the tastes and preferences of the primarily Hispanic community in its target market.
The developer and supermarket operator is a long-time independent owner and operator of supermarkets in New York and Pennsylvania, and has worked in the grocery store industry for the past three decades. He is the owner and operator of four successful supermarkets located in Brooklyn, NY and in Allentown, Easton, and Reading, PA; the Bethlehem store will be his fifth supermarket. His supermarkets cater to low-income and Hispanic customers.
The multi-tenant, mixed-use property has three current tenants in addition to the dark supermarket space. The tenants include an auto mechanic, insurance agency and a single family residence that will continue to occupy their respective spaces. The new full-service supermarket will offer a fresh produce department, in-store butcher, deli counter and a wide variety of Hispanic specialty foods.
The previous tenant was a small supermercado/bodega grocery store that occupied less than 3,500 sq. ft. The expansion is all interior and includes the build out of a vacant warehouse space behind the former supermercado storefront, which will increase the size of the supermarket space to 12,335 sq. ft. The supermarket is expected to create 20 full- and 10 part-time jobs.