Councilwoman Nice Says NE OKC Waiting On Broken Promises For New Grocery Store
The deadline has come and gone for the owners of a grocery store that shut down in Northeast Oklahoma to reopen a new store.
Councilwoman Nikki Nice represents Ward 7 and said the residents in that area are waiting on broken promises.
About six months ago, the area's only place to get fresh produce closed down. The store was Smart Saver off of Northeast 23rd Street and North Martin Luther King Avenue.
Just after that, the owners Hank and Susan Binkowski announced they would be opening another store. It was supposed to be called Uptown Grocery and was set to go up near Northeast 36th Street and North Kelley Avenue.
However, a few weeks ago the city said permits that would be required to construct, repair, enlarge or move portions of the store had not been filed.
There was equipment at the store and the company did get a permit to hang a new sign in October.
At that time in January, News 9 called and went by the company's headquarters but did not hear back.
At a City Council meeting, Councilwoman Nice expressed her frustration with the promised store.
"Guess they assumed you can just build and do whatever you want to and not have to have a permit to do so, and I think that's very unfortunate for our community," said Councilwoman Nice.
She said they are continuing a bus service for residents of the northeast side to get the grocery items they need. Councilwoman Nice said she also encouraged people to go over to the northeast side to see the situation for themselves.
"I continue to ask people to shop at the Sunshine Market to see what the community has been subjected to with the closing of that store," said Councilwoman Nice.
Nice said the community is at a loss, but they are working toward positive change.
"We are going to continue to work hard to ensure what's best for the community and work toward a community owned grocery store," said Councilwoman Nice. "That's also something that we are working toward."
News 9 tried to reach out to the Binkowski's over social media, but did not hear back. A search was also done for any new permits that may have been filed, however, none could be seen on the city's website.