Binghampton once again a food desert after sole grocery store closes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The only grocery store in Binghampton closed Tuesday, putting fresh food out of reach for many people in the neighborhood.

The closing of Save A Lot at Tillman and Sam Cooper was devastating to many in the neighborhood.

“This is the best thing this neighborhood had,” one resident said.

The Binghampton Development Corporation said the grocery store that anchors the Binghampton Gateway Center has been struggling. It failed to tap into the full market potential.

Many residents praised Save A Lot when it agreed to move in three years ago.

Many neighbors struggled to get fresh food until Save a Lot opened.

Its closure once again creates a food desert, forcing people without transportation to take two buses to get to the nearest Kroger.

Data from the BDC shows 8,000 people live in Binghampton, 48% of households have an annual income less than $20,000 and 23% are 55 years old or older.

“I don’t know what’s wrong,” a resident said. “This don’t make no sense.”

A replacement grocer hasn’t been identified, but Shawn Massey with the Shopping Center Group told WREG there’s hope.

He helped land Save A Lot and said he’s been in contact with multiple parties.

Massey also said a recently completed study shows “potential for a local grocery store to open and be sustainable.”

He said Binghampton has “endless potential” and added, “We are optimistic we will finalize a deal with a quality operator.”

Neighbors hope that optimism quickly turns into a reality.

“This store is the best thing in the world,” a neighbor said. “We need a store that will last a long time.”

The shopping center received a community PILOT, which means they got tax breaks. Developers said the city is working with them as they try to land another grocer.

They also noted this isn’t the only store Save A Lot closed across the country.

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