Downtown YXE sees benefit to potential downtown grocery store

Brent Penner says it was “great news” when he first heard the reports of the possibility of Pitchfork Market + Kitchen going in at Midtown Plaza.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Penner, executive director of Downtown YXE.

According to Penner, roughly 3,500 people live downtown and 20,000 people work there.

“It enables them to potentially just walk out on a break and or at lunch or after work and grab things that they need,” said Penner.

Saskatoon currently has one Pitchfork Market + Kitchen location in The Meadows area, developed by Vancouver-based Arbutus Properties. That company is also the proponent of the Midtown location, which would be twice the size, offering a full-service grocery store, a sit-down restaurant and takeout.

“We’ve really developed unique business models that have that perfect blend of grocery and paired meal restaurant offerings that resonates with what people are really looking for,” said PitchFork Market + Kitchen director of retail operations Chris Brychun.

His timeline has the store going in at the end of 2022 or the start of 2023.

“We’re already a fair way into the planning process. We’re completing that and taking the next steps to really start getting boots on the ground,” said Brychun.

An administration report recommends $220,000 worth of infrastructure work in the area once the grocery store reaches a certain build-out point.

“We do feel that it’s pretty important to have that improved access into and out of the area,” Brychun said.

The Standing Policy Committee on Transportation is to consider the proposal at its meeting Monday.

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