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Mayor Landrieu speaks at ReFresh groundbreaking

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Published on May 9, 2013

Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu participated in a groundbreaking event to celebrate the start of construction of ReFresh, a redevelopment project at Broad and Bienville streets receiving major funding from the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailers Initiative (FFRI). The project. in a 60,000-square-foot property that formerly housed a Schwegmann's supermarket and Robert's Fresh Market, will be anchored by a 25,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, and will include Liberty's Kitchen cafe and training program, and The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University.

The project is being developed by Broad Community Connections, a non-profit organization working to revitalize Broad Street from Tulane Avenue to Bayou Road, and L+M Development Partners, a developer of affordable, mixed-income, and market-rate housing.
Broad Community Connections received a $1 million loan from the FFRI, with a forgivable amount up to $500,000. In addition to the FFRI loan, the Board of Commissioners of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) approved an award of $900,000 to Broad Community Connections for the redevelopment of the property through its Commercial Corridor Revitalization program.

Launched in March 2011, the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative plans to award $14 million worth of low-cost, flexible financing to enable vendors to open, renovate or expand retail outlets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables in lower-income areas of the city where access to fresh foods has been lacking. The City previously announced FFRI awards to the iconic Circle Food Market in the Seventh Ward and DaFresh Seafood Market in Central City. To fund FFRI, the City is providing $7 million in Disaster-Community Development Block Grant (D-CDBG) funds, which will be matched 1:1 by the City's partner, Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE), for a total of $14 million. In addition, the City has partnered with The Food Trust, a national non-profit organization with a track record for administering innovative approaches to expanding access to fresh foods in Pennsylvania and New York.

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