Community Builders of Kansas City will become the owner/operator of the Sun Fresh grocery store on Blue Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri, one of the few full-service supermarkets east of Prospect Avenue.
The transaction will be complete as of June 30, and follows the retirement of the current operator. CBKC, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation formed in 1991, established Blue Parkway Grocers, LLC, as a for-profit entity to operate the store. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“This is another opportunity for CBKC to do what is right for our community in the urban core,” said Emmet Pierson, Jr., president and chief executive officer of CBKC. “Make no mistake, this is a big commitment for the organization but it is the right one to keep our community’s money in the community, to give them a best-in-class grocery and shopping experience and to ensure the continued performance of this grocery-anchored retail center that CBKC established here on Blue Parkway in 2005.”
The retail center, at more than 90 percent leased, is part of a larger real estate and asset management portfolio owned by CBKC that consists of 700 units of rental residential properties and 200,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.
The center is adjacent to a 69,000-square-foot office building where CBKC is headquartered, which is 100 percent leased. CBKC is building a 64-unit, market rate apartment building, The Rochester on Blue Parkway, on the campus, part of more than $30 million in new development in the organization’s project pipeline.
As is routine with similar operator transitions, all of the store’s employees will reapply for positions with eligibility subject to the usual hiring requirements. Downsizing of staff is not anticipated.
Community input that would typically be gathered via invitations to neighborhood meetings is not possible in the current COVID-19 environment. CBKC will look to identify other ways to gather customer input in the coming months and, over time, to accommodate preferences on store product, shopping experience and support services such as banking and pharmacy.