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Lincoln close to getting downtown grocery
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Lincoln close to getting downtown grocery

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After multiple delays, Canopy Street Market is set to open its doors next month as Lincoln’s only downtown grocery store.

The venture that started two years ago is finally coming together, said owner Jill Moline.

“It’s been a huge challenge,” she said. “We came down here because it feels like a small-town community. We’re hoping to have a full-service grocery store with a small footprint.”

The 8,000-square-foot store is tentatively scheduled to open the last week of August, right after University of Nebraska-Lincoln students move in. The market will feature a deli, meat counter, fresh produce, alcohol, online ordering and delivery. It will be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Canopy Street Market, 140 S. Canopy St., occupies the ground floor of one of the apartment buildings facing N Street. It was built by Speedway Properties and Nelnet as part of an $11 million redevelopment project.

The project involves three mixed-use buildings: two four-story buildings with first-floor retail and three floors of apartments, and one five-story building with first-floor retail and four floors of office space.

Moline has worked in the grocery business since she was 12, in her hometown of Imperial. She owns three other stores — one in western Nebraska and two in eastern Colorado.

Moline and husband Brad Moline, Allo Communications president, partnered with Mark Whitehead of Whitehead Oil for the project. Whitehead also owns several U-Stop convenience stores in Lincoln.

“We saw the need for a grocery store right away because we have an apartment (downtown),” she said. “I didn’t want anything to do with putting a store in at first, but then there was a big push from the city, Nelnet and the mayor, among others. It turned out to be a great idea.”

Those living downtown have been wanting a nearby grocery store. Kat Krutak has lived in the Haymarket area for seven years.

“I’m one of the few people down here who has a child,” Krutak said. “It’s been needed for a long time. And it won’t just be for people who live here, either. Business owners will be able to use it.”

Whitney Morris has lived in the area for two years and is excited about the market.

“I cook a lot and it takes an easy half-hour round trip to go to a different grocery store,” Morris said. “This makes sense for people who live down here. The only problem might be the lack of parking.”

The store is going to have 30-minute parking spots outside, with a pull-up area and loading zone for people who order their groceries online. There will also be an outdoor fountain for dog walkers and Moline is looking into getting a tire air pump for customers. 

The store was supposed to be completed last September, but weather and the need to move electrical transformers set back the date.

Then June 24, a Lincoln man stole copper electrical wiring and pipes from the store, further setting back the construction process.

“It’s been a labor of love,” Moline said. “It will be rewarding, but I’ve never had to deal with all the different things this store has (had).”

The hiring process will begin as soon as an official opening date is set. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7214 or lwagner@journalstar.com.

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City desk intern

Summer 2018 city desk intern for the Journal Star.

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