Posted: January 10, 2013 Developer to Seek New Downtown Grocer
The grocery store that served downtown residents for about seven months, has now closed. Operator Carolyn Miller of Eau Claire announced late Friday night that the store would be closing. "It is with great sadness that we announce we will be closing our doors forever. To all of our loyal customers thank you for your support from the very beginning," she said through Facebook.
Last year, the City of Eau Claire Redevelopment Authority provided a $200,000 incentive to the developer, Geoff Moeding, President of Moeding Partners, LLC, in an effort to attract a grocery operator to the area.
"While we are disappointed, we appreciate the efforts of Geoff Moeding for trying to bring a grocery store to this growing urban neighborhood," said Mike Schatz, Economic Development Director. "We are confident that this neighborhood will only continue to grow and ultimately be able to support an established, well-funded grocery store. Overall, the Phoenix Park neighborhood has been very successful."
To date, Moeding has received $150,000. Moeding says $100,000 of the $150,000 he received, was utilized for building infrastructure, in equipment, and in fixtures-all of which will remain in the building and could be used by a future grocery operator.
In July, 2011, Miller announced she would open Charly's Market at 225 E. Madison Street. The 4,200 square foot store features a high-quality meat department and meals that could be picked up quickly for people on the go. The store opened its doors in May of 2012.
Schatz says Moeding has exceeded the assessed valuation he contractually guaranteed; there are more people living in the area than when the redevelopment district was created, the housing units are completely filled, and there are many new businesses serving and strengthening the adjacent residential neighborhoods.
Moeding and city leaders are currently discussing the options and opportunities that this closing presents, with potential future grocery operators.