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Grocery store closure leaves void in Denver's Cole neighborhood

Owner cites high rent and says customers moved
Posted: 5:56 PM, Oct 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-07 20:42:57-04
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DENVER -- Growth will likely bring a new grocery store to Denver's Cole neighborhood but it is also the likely cause as locals lose one of the only places to get fresh food.

“And [we] have consistently been asking for access to food, fresh food," said Candi CdeBaca, the Denver City Council Representative for District 9.

CdeBaca worries about food deserts, meaning areas that lack access to fresh produce and meat. The Downing Supermarket, located at 3330 N. Downing St, closed on October 5 and it was pretty much the only grocery store serving the Cole neighborhood.

"The closest full service grocery store is Safeway down here on Park Ave, you have Natural Grocers right up the street on Brighton but that since the beginning has not been affordable for the community that it plopped into," said CdeBaca.

Denver7 talked with one of the partners who had ownership in the Downing Supermarket. The partner, who wished to remain anonymous for this story said, "It was time to go."

He cited increasing rent and property taxes as part of the reason. He also said many longtime customers have moved in recent years.

Earlier this year, Denver City Council voted to approve a rezoning request that could bring in another grocery store to the area of 36th Street and Downing. Developers shared plans to build a 30,000-square-foot grocery store and 200 residential units but CdeBaca says the project will not help residents in the short-term.

"I’ve been worried, I’ve lived in this community my whole life and have always recognized that food access has been a challenge," said CdeBaca.