Jack & Jake’s Gets $1 Million From City For Fresh Food Hub

by • June 5, 2014 • Central City, Community Development, Development, Public FinanceComments (1)2779

Rendering via Jackandjakes.com

Rendering via Jackandjakes.com

Yesterday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in partnership with The Food Trust and Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE), announced a funding award to Jack and Jake’s, Inc. as part of the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI).

The $1 million loan, up to half of which may be forgiven, will allow the fresh food grocer to open and operate a 23,000 square foot grocery store in the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.

Constructed as McDonogh 38 Elementary School in 1910, the historic structure was too run down to be used as a school in 2002 and closed.   A dramatic fire ravaged the shuttered property in 2008, transforming it into an humongous, blighted eyesore one block away from NORA’s new headquarters building.

Alembic Community Development purchased the property from the school board in 2011 with the grand vision to create a  commercial office and fresh food hub for the surrounding low income community.

“Through redeveloping the former Myrtle Banks School and partnering with Jack and Jake’s, Alembic Community Development is looking forward to bringing a fresh food market to Central City,” said Jonathan Leit, Director of Alembic’s New Orleans office. “We are excited to be restoring this iconic one hundred-year-old school building and bringing it back as a commercial anchor and community destination that supports the ongoing revitalization of O.C. Haley Boulevard.”The proceeds of the loan will be used to complete leasehold improvements, purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment and provide working capital.

Constructed as McDonogh 38 Elementary School in 1910, the historic structure was too run down to be used as a school in 2002 and closed.   A dramatic fire ravaged the shuttered property in 2008, transforming it into an humongous, blighted eyesore one block away from NORA’s new headquarters building.

Alembic Community Development purchased the property from the school board in 2011 with the grand vision to create a  commercial office and fresh food hub for the surrounding low income community.

The proceeds of the loan will be used to complete leasehold improvements, purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment and provide working capital.

“Through redeveloping the former Myrtle Banks School and partnering with Jack and Jake’s, Alembic Community Development is looking forward to bringing a fresh food market to Central City,” said Jonathan Leit, Director of Alembic’s New Orleans office. “We are excited to be restoring this iconic one hundred-year-old school building and bringing it back as a commercial anchor and community destination that supports the ongoing revitalization of O.C. Haley Boulevard.”

“Jack & Jake’s is excited to partner with the City of New Orleans in our effort to provide access to fresh, healthy foods from local producers on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The Fresh Food Retailer Initiative  program will help us realize the opening of a full-service retail market and regional food hub,” said John Burns, CEO of Jack and Jake’s. “This effort is part of our overall mission to bring fresh healthy foods to schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods and represents a vital part of the rebirth of a local food system and an ever growing food based economy in the Crescent City.” 

Launched in March 2011, FFRI awards low-cost, flexible financing for vendors to open, renovate or expand retail outlets in areas of the city lacking fresh food access. The City previously announced FFRI awards to the Circle Food Store in the Seventh Ward and the ReFresh project featuring Whole Foods Market in Mid-City.

Applicants must plan to either open a self-service supermarket or other grocery retail outlet primarily selling fresh produce, seafood, meat, dairy and other groceries; renovate and substantially improve a store’s ability to stock and sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables; or develop a real estate project that will lease space to a grocery retail tenant.

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One Response to Jack & Jake’s Gets $1 Million From City For Fresh Food Hub

  1. […] off the heels of receiving a $1 million loan from the city’s Fresh Food Initiative, Jack & Jake’s Public Market and developer Alembic Community Development held a ground […]

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