Nov 1, 2022 - Business

What Lee's Market closing means for Marmalade neighborhood

Lee's Market in downtown Salt Lake City.

The former Lee's Market on 4th West. Photo: Kim Bojórquez

Lee's Market at 4th West Apartments has shuttered its doors less than three years after it opened in Salt Lake City's Marmalade neighborhood.

  • Its last day of operation was Oct. 28.

Why it matters: The closure means the growing area will revert back to its status as a "food desert," leaving residents with no options in the neighborhood to buy nutritious, fresh or affordable food.

  • The closest convenience stores to the neighborhood are now Smith's in Rose Park, Rancho Markets in Fairpark and The Store at The Gateway.

State of play: President and CEO of Lee's Marketplace Jonathan Badger alerted residents at 4th West and Hardware Apartments of the closure in an Oct. 27 email obtained by Axios Salt Lake City.

  • Badger cited a lack of foot traffic from surrounding areas, the COVID-19 pandemic and public accessibility issues.

What they're saying: "The urban store format you would find in a high-density city like New York, Chicago or Boston was a test for our company. Unfortunately, we found this style of shopping is not yet conducive to the Salt Lake City area," he wrote.

  • In a separate email sent to residents, 4th West Apartments' property managers said they would offer residents "a $200 credit toward a grocery store subscription service of their choice to help soften the inconvenience created by this situation."

Between the lines: The store's opening in February 2020 — about a month before COVID-19 took hold — was met with an enthusiastic response from the local community.

  • A pending pedestrian bridge located nearby aimed to improve walkability in the neighborhood.

Details: The 9,800-square-foot store was frequented by apartment residents, West High School students, and downtown workers looking for a quick bite.

What's next: 4th West management told residents they were already looking for potential replacements.

Yes, but: Shoppers can still get their Lee's fix at their 725 N. Redwood Road, North Salt Lake location.


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