A new citizens group will press Rochester officials to address the quality-of-life issues presented by the closing of Hart's Local Grocers downtown. The store announced it will close its doors March 24.
The Center City Community Coalition, or C4, formed last year to provide educational advocacy for the growing downtown residential community. Jeremy Cooney, former chief of staff to Mayor Lovely Warren, is part of the group, and says a grocery store for downtown is vital.
“We know as downtown residents, it's all about walkability,” Cooney said. “And if people can't walk to their local grocery store to get milk or bread or whatever -- they need to do that, and they need to feel that it is accessible to them. Not everyone wants to get in the car and drive to Wegmans.”
Cooney says in order to build a residential community, amenities like a grocery store are needed to provide quality-of-life factors for those communities.
C4 will advocate for a new downtown grocer when it hosts its "Meet Your City Council" forum on March 20 at Grace Road Church.
Clooney says their event was planned before the Hart's announcement.