Officials break ground on downtown grocery store

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Officials participated in Thursday's groundbreaking for downtown Phoenix's first major grocery store. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Officials participated in Thursday's groundbreaking for downtown Phoenix's first major grocery store. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Residents have been calling for a grocery store downtown for years, but no major supermarket stepped-up to set up shop until now. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Residents have been calling for a grocery store downtown for years, but no major supermarket stepped-up to set up shop until now. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
In addition to the new Fry's, the Block 23 project will include 330 new apartments, 200,000 square feet of office space, restaurant and retail space and above and below ground parking. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) In addition to the new Fry's, the Block 23 project will include 330 new apartments, 200,000 square feet of office space, restaurant and retail space and above and below ground parking. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Downtown Phoenix has a lot to offer - light rail, an ASU campus, new condos and apartments popping up all over the place.

But one glaring thing that's missing is a major grocery store and that's about to change.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton joined city and business leaders Thursday to break ground on a new development project called Block 23 in the heart of downtown Phoenix.

"Today's groundbreaking seems like we've all been waiting for this for a real long time," said Stanton.     

The site at First Street and Washington will be home to a new Fry's Food store.

[READ MORE: Downtown Phoenix to get Fry's Food Store]

"It's a really huge deal for us and Fry's," said Katie Arrington, with Fry's Food Stores. "We're downtown. I think we are coming at a great time. Phoenix is growing and we need a grocery store down here."

Residents have been calling for a grocery store downtown for years, but no major supermarket stepped-up to set up shop until now.

In addition to the new Fry's, the Block 23 project will include 330 new apartments, 200,000 square feet of office space, restaurant and retail space and above and below ground parking.

[RELATED: Downtown dig uncovers Hohokam pit houses]

But developers insist the key to the whole thing was getting Fry's on board.

"Now there's no limit to the amount of residential we can build down here because people will have the convenience to walk to a grocery store and then walk back to their home," said Red Development V.P. Jeff Moloznik.

The new Fry' store is expected to open in about two years, with the rest of the project expected to be finished by the end of 2019.

 The City of Phoenix is helping out with more than $18 million in development incentives and some long-term property tax breaks.

  Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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