NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A grocery store could once again provide fresh foods to those living in and in the vicinity of Norfolk’s St. Paul’s public housing communities.

In a presentation in front of City Council on Tuesday, Sean Washington, Director of Economic Development, said through a partnership with the Urban League of Hampton Roads, the city is pursuing a $5 million state Industrial Revitalization Fund that will help to purchase, demolish and prepare the Church Street Shopping Center at the corner of Church Street and Brambleton Avenue.

The shopping center used to house a Save-A-Lot grocery store until 2020 and a Family Dollar is currently under renovation after arson in 2022 caused it to shutter.

The new project is being dubbed “The Village” and would be anchored by a 31,000 square foot grocery store and include a rebuilt 12,000 square foot Family Dollar and 25,000 square foot job training center in phase 1.

“We want to bring an under utilized asset for the neighborhood back to active use, and as we all know there is an urgent need for a grocery store,” Washington said.

The grocery targeted for the space? Food Lion according to Gilbert Bland, president and CEO of the Urban League.

Later phases could also include construction of additional retail space, including a small business center and an 80,000 square foot “Hub Empowerment Center.” Sentara could also open up a new community health clinic.

The grant application is due Friday so they City Council voted on the application even though it wasn’t initially on their agenda. The grant requires a $5 million match, a majority of which would come from tax credits from a community development company called Hampton Roads Ventures. $1.25 million would also come from the current owner of the property, listed as S. L. Nesbaum and $250,000 in contributions from the city.

This story will be updated.