If you are in downtown Albany, you have seen the boarded-up McDonald's on South Pearl Street. It has been closed since 2019 but now there are plans to develop it into a grocery store in partnership with the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region according to the Times Union.

There has been a need for a full-service grocery store in that area for years and the Bluelight Development Group is ready to buy it from the Albany Housing Authority to redevelop it. There is a convenience store called El Pilon Market that is located down the road at 179 Pearl Street and has limited grocery options. The plan is to take that store and turn it into a full-service grocery store at the McDonald's site.

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If the project gets approved, they plan on opening a three thousand-plus square foot store that will have fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, hygiene products, and kitchen supplies. The hope is that this grocery store will open by September of this year. They will also add wholesale storage and distribution to small businesses throughout South Pearl Street. There will be a spot designated for the African American Cultural Center as well to provide other needs to the community.

This would be a major investment into the downtown Albany area especially the end of South Pearl Street. They are in dire need of a full-service grocery store and other important needs that are lacking in that community.

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