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Food City breaks ground on new Erwin shopping center

Sue Guinn Legg • Dec 19, 2018 at 9:36 PM

ERWIN — The new Food City shopping center in Erwin moved several big spades of dirt closer to completion on Wednesday as contractors and local leaders joined K-VA-T Food Stores President and CEO Steve Smith for a groundbreaking celebration at the Jonesborough Road construction site.

Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley called the new store and adjoining retail spaces the best of Christmas presents and thanked for Smith for choosing Erwin for their construction.

Tyler Engle, executive director of the Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County, said the board was excited about the economic development potential the project brings to the county and joined Hensley in expressing gratitude to Smith and the K-VA-T company.

Smith said the company is excited to be in Erwin. “It’s a Christmas present for us too,” he said. And he likewise thanked local economic development leaders and government leaders, saying “You really rolled out the red carpet to us.”

In his brief remarks, Smith the 44,000-square-foot Food City store will be built in one his favorite formats, with a pharmacy, a full bakery and sit-down cafe, a full service meat and seafood department, a Gas and Go station and Food City’s new Go-Cart online ordering and curbside pickup service.

Combined with the adjoining retail spaces, Smith said K-VA-T will be making an $11.5 million investment in the property that is expected to generate 140 jobs.

“We’ll take what was a somewhat blighted property here and turn it into a beautiful shopping center,” Smith said. “And not only are we going to build you a great supermarket, our folks are going to support your community, your schools and your nonprofit organizations. We look forward to partnering with your community for many years to come.

“Hopefully, by early summer we’ll have us a Food City here and we can come back and cut us a ribbon.”

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