City of Sacramento logoIn the effort to increase investment in underserved communities and improve food access in food deserts, the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved a $1.1 million loan for the renovation of a commercial space in Oak Park that will become a new employee-owned supermarket.

The loan will provide resources to rehabilitate a building at 4401 Broadway and bring needed improvements to open with new tenant Rancho San Miguel Market.

Slated to open in fall 2021, the store would be 100% employee owned and serve the Oak Park, Elmhurst and Tahoe Park neighborhoods.

The 51,000-square-foot space, on the corner of Broadway and Stockton Boulevard, previously had housed a Food Source grocery store, which opened in 1999 and closed in March 2020. Since then, the location has been vacant, with the property owner and City working to find a new tenant.

“When the former grocery store at this location closed early last year, it left a gap in food access and grocery options for the surrounding neighbors,” said Vice Mayor Jay Schenirer, who represents the district.

The loan will not only help secure food access for local residents, “it will also provide economic and job opportunities for the community,” Schenirer said.

“Residents should not have to travel far to find fresh and affordable food; they should be able to find it right in their own community,” said Councilmember Eric Guerra, who represents nearby District 6.

PAQ, Inc. which operates the Rancho San Miguel markets, currently has 22 stores throughout the Central Valley and Central Coast regions. This will be the first Rancho San Miguel Market in Sacramento.

Representatives from PAQ, Inc. said they anticipate hiring approximately 70 employees for the store and is committed to hiring locally. They will utilize Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) and local community-based providers to assist them with the recruitment, hiring and training of the store’s employees with a focus on recruitment in the local neighborhoods.

Funding for the interest-bearing loan comes from previously established Oak Park redevelopment bond funds that must be used in the neighborhood and will become part of a new Oak Park Revolving Loan Fund. The total project cost for the renovations, inventorying and initial operating costs will exceed $6 million. The property owner will utilize the $1.1 million loan proceeds toward the cost of renovations.

The store will serve as an anchor for the Broadway/Stockton corridor and compliment the other activities underway for the corridor including the development of a Stockton Boulevard Plan, transportation plans and new housing development. The multi-billion-dollar Aggie Square project, spearheaded by UC Davis, is located just a few blocks to the north of this site.