City of Troutdale seeks new grocer to fill food void at shopping center to prevent food desert

COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - The extent of the damage to the Cherry Park Safeway, after the roof collapsed in Februarys winter storm, has led the grocery store to permanently close. The city of Troutdale is looking for ways to bring back a grocery store and prevent the formation of a food desert within the community after a popular Safeway store announced it would permanently close.

On Feb. 15 ,the roof of the Safeway at the Cherry Park Market Center, 2501 S.W. Cherry Park Road, collapsed in spectacular fashion under the weight of ice and snow that hit the region in February. While there were no serious injuries, the damage forced the grocery store to close indefinitely as arduous repairs began.

That indefinite closure has become permanent, as Safeway Inc. made the decision not to return to Troutdale once the extent of the damage to the store became known.

Now Troutdale officials are working to bring another vital grocery store to that location. The city has begun discussions with leasing agents for the property to figure out how to retain a grocery store presence at the site.

"We are reaching out to nearby property owners, homeowners associations, and existing tenants to help make a pitch in support of a new grocery tenant," said Chris Damgen, Troutdale community development director.

The former Safeway was convenient not only for Troutdale residents, but for Wood Village residents and employees at the Gresham Vista Business Park.

The need is even greater as nearly 500 new residents have moved into the Eagle Ridge Apartments, directly across the street from the Cherry Park Center. That customer base wasn't present when Safeway was still operating. A nearby grocery store would be a big convenience for those living in the area.

Troutdale is also looking to address a food desert with a smaller-format grocery store in the Town Center nearby downtown Troutdale, as that would support future development on the horizon.

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