The Cole neighborhood is losing one of its few options for groceries.
Downing Supermarket, located at 3330 N. Downing St., will close this weekend, owner Phong Ta told BusinessDen on Thursday.
“The rent is too high, the property taxes increased and there’s direct competition with the Family Dollar right next to us,” Ta said. “It’s been a struggle since the landlord had them come in last year. And now construction down the whole street of Downing — we lost half the area.”
The market has operated for about 45 years, Ta said; he’s owned it for eight. He decided to close it about a month ago. He’s priced inventory at 75 percent off and will close when things go.
The supermarket employs six people part time, he said. It shares a building with Ho Chinese Kitchen and Econo Liquor in addition to Family Dollar, which unlike Downing Supermarket, does not carry fresh meat and produce.
The closest mid-to-large-size grocery stores are a Natural Grocers about 0.75 miles away on Brighton Boulevard, and a Safeway about 1.3 miles away along 20th Avenue. Other closer options carry a smaller selection of items.
Just north of Downing Supermarket, in the 3600 block of Downing and Marion Streets, Denver-based real estate firms EXDO Properties, Kentro Group and Elevation Development Group plan to build a 30,000-square-foot grocery store and 200 residential units. Rezoning needed for the project was approved earlier this year. But the project isn’t expected to break ground until next year.