The North Philadelphia community is welcoming a new supermarket to the neighborhood at the corner of Broad and Oxford Streets.
Progress Plaza, owned by the Progress Investment Associates, will welcome a Fresh Grocer supermarket at the start of the Spring 2010 semester.
The investment will allow students on campus to shop at a grocery store nearby.
“The ability to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meats at affordable prices is an important prerequisite to a healthier neighborhood/community,” said Chairman of Progress Investment Associates, Wendell Whitlock.
Another benefit for students is the opportunities to work and make a little extra money while living on campus.
With a supermarket so close to campus, students won’t have to worry about driving to get food or carrying heavy bags long distances.
“The new supermarket would be awesome. Instead of having to walk far into the neighborhood, we can literally walk down the street,” junior risk management and actuarial science major Usamah Rashid said.
Kenny Ashe, the vice chair of PIA, has been involved with the Marketing of Progress Plaza and has worked on what this new supermarket means to North Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, including Temple.
“This neighborhood has not had a quality supermarket in over 10 years. Therefore, it could only be a positive impact on the Temple student body’s close proximity, easy access to the supermarket that sells food, household items and provides a diverse range of customer service-oriented options,” Ashe said.
With the support of President Ann Weaver Hart and a proposal made by Fresh Grocer, PIA took the project to a new level with the incorporation of green building plans.
“The Fresh Grocer is compelled to do their part and is dedicated to operating their stores with an ongoing commitment to the environment and believe incorporating green building features in their new ground-up locations,” Ashe said. “The new store features a state-of-the art refrigeration system designed to reduce energy consumption by 40 percent [versus] present-day comparable system designs.”
Along with reducing power consumption by 35 percent, Fresh Grocer has designed a “green screen” that allows native plants to grow and form living walls. The vegetated walls will purify the air and reduce heat in the city’s air.
This supermarket seems ideal for students looking to expand their diets and change their lifestyles, even if it is a bit late for some soon-to-be graduates.
“I wish the supermarket was around when I was a freshman. However, I will definitely take advantage of it during my final semester this spring,” BTMM major Danielle Sacco said. “I feel that the new supermarket on campus will encourage students to cook for themselves, as well as make healthier choices.”
The Plaza is scheduled to officially reopen Dec. 11, 2009, and the Fresh Grocer will become the anchor for Progress Plaza as efforts are made to improve the community and move forward with green initiatives in the city.
“We are looking forward to partnering with Temple University’s Office of Sustainability,” Ashe said, “and we endeavor to do our part to help fulfill Mayor Nutter’s mandate to be the greenest city in the nation by 2015.”
Monica Sellecchia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.