Ken De La Bastide, The Herald Bulletin
October 4, 2023
ANDERSON — Construction work will start next week to convert the former Marsh store into a Needler’s Fresh Market and Ace Hardware.
The grocery store will also have a drug store and is expected to open in 2024.
The Marsh store on Nichol Avenue closed in 2017 and Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. and Greg Winkler, executive director of the Economic Development Department have been working to bring a grocery store back to the area.
“We have been working on a grocery store, the bonus is getting a hardware store,” Winkler said during ceremonies Tuesday.
“These businesses will serve the western part of the community and be the threshold for other commercial developments,” he said.
Broderick said the search for a grocery store started shortly after Marsh filed for bankruptcy in 2017.
“Before that happened, we planned a trip to bring development to the area,” he said of the Marsh announcement. “We wanted a strong anchor store in the area.”
Broderick said his administration wanted an upscale store with many opportunities for local residents.
“This is the beginning of our journey,” he said. “The plan has always been to redevelop the area.”
Brent Benge with developer KennMar said they started looking at the project a year ago.
“We asked the community want they wanted,” he said. “The administration wanted a grocery store and we only contacted the Needler family.”
Benge said the company has an obligation to the communities they serve and to look for an economic and social return on projects.
Michael Needler said the family-owned business has purchased several former Marsh locations and look to serve those communities.
“We found strength and a solid foundation in Anderson,” he said. “We’re excited about what we’re going to bring to Anderson.”
Needler said Anderson has a vision to redevelop the area and control progress for the future.
“We won’t live without the support of the community of a small business,” he said. “We need community support to be successful.”
KennMar is investing $1.5 million in the project and purchased the building for $500,000 from the Anderson Redevelopment Commission.
The Anderson Redevelopment Commission is providing $7.2 million to be released in phases to upgrade the store.
The store needs a new heating and air conditioning system, flooring, electronics and plumbing.
Those funds will be recaptured from tax revenues on the increased assessed value of the property.
The developer has to commit to operating the grocery store and hardware store for a minimum of 10 years.
The stores have to be opened by July 1, 2024, or KennMar will be in breach of contract. The developer hopes to open the stores before that date.