The Philadelphia Housing Authority said Wednesday that discount grocer Sav-A-Lot will develop an 18,500 square foot store on Ridge Avenue at Jefferson Street, where the agency also plans to build a 130,000 square foot headquarters to consolidate 400 empployees.

The headquarters and the grocery store are meant to help anchor a major redevelopment effort in the area of North Philadelphia that PHA refers to as the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood.

"During the development of the plan to transform the Sharswood/Blumberg community, residents told us a grocery store was a feature the neighborhood badly needed," said PHA chief executive Kelvin Jeremiah said.

Three retailers expressed interest, but only Sav-A-Lot provided a written proposal, he said. The preliminary, 10-year agreement with Sav-A-Lot calls for PHA to spend $4.5 million on construction, while Sav-A-Lot will pay for the interior build-out.

In March, PHA imploded the neighborhood's notorious 510-unit Norman Blumberg Apartments housing project. The plan also called for the seizure of 800 privately owned and 500 publicly owned parcels through eminent domain with goal of building hundreds of subsidized houses over the next several years.

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