MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A downtown space is looking to become the main grocery store for the area.
The 1920's Liberty Cash Grocery warehouse has been restored back to its glory days on Webster Avenue. All that is missing is for a store to call it home.
"I have reached out to almost every national grocery store chain, regional grocery store chain, and haven't had too much success in finding anyone interest in anyone moving to the downtown Memphis area," Vera Stanfield of Archer Custom Builders said.
It's a passion project for Tom Archer, the owner of Archer Custom Builders, who saw the need for a grocery store in the South Main area.
The area continues to explode with development.
South Main residents like Jeff Rikard couldn't agree more.
"We need one really bad. There's not one anywhere close to us," Rikard said.
Currently, the Rikards drive to Poplar and Highland to restock their pantry.
"It doesn't have to have everything, TVs, furniture, and all that stuff. We just need groceries, to be able to go get some eggs, milk and bread," Rikard said.
The challenge now is convincing someone else to see that need too.
"It's something that people locally can see the need for but it's hard for a regional or national chain, someone who is sitting in Atlanta or Nashville to kinda get a feel for what we are doing. They are just looking at demographics on paper," Stanfield said.
The inside of the brick building is completely gutted, waiting on a new owner to customize the inside to it's needs.
"Really, what I think it's going to take is some local entrepreneur to come in and say this is a golden opportunity with all of the residential condos, apartments and developments in the South Main area. And all the folks want a place to shop," Stanfield said.
The fight to fill the downtown grocery store void is far from over.
Once a store calls 136 Webster home again, Archer Custom Builders say they could have the store ready to go within 6 months.
Until then, they will continue their search for a grocer.