After a series of setbacks, construction of the Clifton Gaslight Market — a grocery store located on Ludlow Avenue — could start as soon as Feb. 11.
Steve Goessling, owner of the old Keller’s IGA, closed a $1.89 million loan approved by Fifth ThirdBank for the construction. Goessling said the construction schedule will be posted soon on his Facebook page.
The new store will be in the same location as Keller’s IGA, but will include 25 percent more shelf space and a corporate office on the lower level to replace the one Goessling will close in Reading. The plan will cost approximately $4.1 million altogether.
The store will feature approximately 20,000 products, an organic section, an in-house bakery, and a wide variety of beer and wine, said Marilyn Hyland, owner of the marketing firm working with Goessling, the Marilyn Hyland Agency.
If constructed, the grocery store will be the only one within walking distance for Clifton residents. Clifton Town Meeting is pushing for the store because it wants Clifton residents to have all the amenities they need to do the majority of their weekly shopping within the Clifton Business District. CTM helped facilitate the financial process for the store.
The store, if opened, could employ up to 120 people to both full and part-time positions, Hyland said.
Pete Schneider, former president of CTM, worked with Goessling during his tenure at CTM to ensure he contacted the right people.
“We don’t want to see a long-term decline because of the community’s lack of a grocery store — which is a fundamental element of any community,” Schneider said in a September 2012 interview. “It’s been a long time coming — we can’t wait.”
Clifton offers just about everything a consumer needs within walking distance except a grocery store, which sends business to other places instead of keeping it in the community, Schneider added.
“I think it’s fantastic news,” Hyland said. “The grocery store is the social food center in the community. You meet with friends in the neighborhood there. It’s great for students, faculty and staff [of the University of Cincinnati.”
The project was delayed many times due to financial issues, and Goessling spent $1.4 million of his own money to keep it alive.