Foodie Park receives extension

Scavuzzo’s Foodie Park at 47th and State Avenue received approval from the Unified Government Economic Development and Finance Committee Monday night for an extension on its deadline to start construction.

The project would be a food service center, including an automated food warehouse, at the former Indian Springs shopping mall site. There also were plans for a few restaurants, stores, office buildings and a hotel on the property.

Richard Scavuzzo asked for the starting time of construction on the project to be moved from August of this year to April of 2021.

He said they have put together a team including a contractor, automation partner, finance team, owners’ representative and solar team for the various parts of the project.

“We’ve spent a lot of time putting together the right team to get this across the finish line,” Scavuzzo said. The project is a first for this type of automated project in the marketplace, he said.

Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, some of the plans that were already lined up ran into problems. The original finance partner was based in the entertainment industry and pulled out of the project after reductions in revenue from COVID-19, he said. The project now has new finance sources, he added, and they are currently completing plans.

The restaurant plans on State Avenue are being changed a little, according to Scavuzzo. They now are looking at a shared courtyard approach for them, with curbside and delivery options.

The hotel idea has fallen through, with hotels not being built throughout the country right now, he said, and the office building project is undergoing changes.

Scavuzzo said the team has put together some really good plans to deal with the changing environment. He said they are really excited about the new plans.

The extension to April 30, instead of the end of this year, has to do with a finance partner’s recommendation, as there is a $30 million down payment required on the automated machinery going into the facility, he said. The partner wants to wait until the development agreement is solidified, he said.

The committee unanimously approved the extension to April, and the item will go to the full Commission later.

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