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Fort Wayne breaks ground on Pontiac Street Market, a new southeast side grocery store

Sixth District Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Sharon Tucker speaks alongside Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry commemorating the start of the work on the Pontiac Street Market
Tony Sandleben
Sixth District Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Sharon Tucker speaks alongside Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry commemorating the start of the work on the Pontiac Street Market

Hammers struck drywall in the 900 block of East Pontiac Street Thursday afternoon, and Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, City Council members Glynn Hines, Tom Didier, Geoff Paddock and Sharon Tucker were all in hard hats and reflective vests.

It all signified the ceremonial beginning of the work to create a new grocery store, Pontiac Street Market on the city’s southeast side.

Sixth District Democratic Councilwoman Sharon Tucker said the southeast side had cried for access to healthy food. Pontiac Street Market is a public private partnership between the City of Fort Wayne and Parkview Regional Medical Center and Affiliates. Tucker said this is the answer.

"You’re standing in the middle of the answer to that cry,” Tucker said.

Pontiac Street Markets, when complete, will give residents on the southeast side of Fort Wayne, long considered to be a food desert by city officials, access to a full service grocery store within walking distance.

It will provide:

  • Fresh produce
  • Meats
  • Dairy
  • Prepared foods
  • Baked goods
  • Sandwich counter
  • Grocery pickup

There was no groundbreaking at Thursday’s event.

That’s because the project does not include building a new building but rather repurposing an existing building at 918 E. Pontiac Street.

Henry said the business plan calls for the store to operate at a loss when it initially opens, but he said enough people will use the store that he believes it will break even soon after it opens. He could not provide a specific timeline for when that would happen.

Officials said they hope to cut the ribbon on Pontiac Street Market in September if not the fourth quarter of 2023.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.