The selection of grocery stores in downtown Chattanooga may expand beyond the proposed Food City.
Gordon Food Service is looking for a 26,000-square-foot space at 1817 Broad St., said Chattanooga developer John Wise.
“It would be a great addition to that part of the city center,” he said.
Gordon Food Service bills itself as North America’s largest private, family-run food service distribution company with operations in the US and Canada. Serving restaurants, hotels, stadiums, entertainment venues, hospitals, senior facilities, universities, schools and catering,
But the Michigan-based company also operates more than 170 Gordon’s Food Service Store locations, which is the retail division of the business.
“It looks like a normal grocery store,” said Wise.
The site that looked at the unit was the space behind where the Pizza Bros restaurant is on Broad Street, he said.
“We have to go through a licensing process,” said Wise.
A Gordon Food Service official declined to comment on Friday.
But Wise says Gordon’s Food Service could be a part of what is described as a little Western Village. It is part of the downtown area of ML King Boulevard and Pine Street with hotels, restaurants and other new businesses that have become destinations for locals and travelers alike.
Wise, who owns the Pizza Bros building and others between Broad and Chestnut avenues in the area, said he would open another bar and restaurant called Whiskey Cowgirl. It would have a country music theme and a large outdoor entertainment area with a pool, he said.
Also, the developer said he was eyeing a multi-purpose building near 20th Street adjacent to where he was opening a new apartment building, The Henry Lofts near Finley Stadium, a few years ago. Wise also built a Southside Social bar, grill and bowling alley at Chestnut.
Wise estimates that the area could have a $ 45 million investment when all are built.
Wise said Gordon Food Service was a big company moving further south.
In Tennessee, the company already operates stores in Knoxville, Murfreesboro, and Cool Springs and Goodlettsville around Nashville.
According to the company’s website, its retail store offers a wide variety of goods, including meat, beverages, dairy, frozen food, poultry, product suppliers and cleaners.
At 26,000 square feet, such a location would be about half the size of Food City’s proposed 1305 Broad St. on 5.7 hectares of land that over the years housed the Carter Distributing Co. warehouse
Food City Project, which will include both residential and commercial components, is expected to be submitted to the city’s Form-Based Code Committee for consideration in February.
Earlier this week, the committee considered potential signs for Gordon’s Food Service and gave partial approval to requests.
Forbes magazine in 2019 said Gordon Food Service was the 22nd largest private venture in the United States, with its biggest competitor, US Food and Sysco.
Forbes put Gordon’s annual income for the year ended October 2019 at $ 15.5 billion.
Call Mike Pare at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.
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