Loblaws won't block new food store from opening in old Shop Easy

Shop Easy owner Loblaws says it will not place a caveat on the sale of the property to restrict purchasers from selling food, city councillor said in a Facebook post. Residents in Saskatoon's City Park neighbourhood worried Shop Easy's closure in November will turn their area into a "food desert".

Assurance helps City Park residents clear first hurdle in keeping place to buy food in area

City councillor Darren Hill speaks to City Park residents worried about losing their neighbourhood's Shop Easy grocery store, at a community association meeting last month. (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC)

People living in Saskatoon's City Park neighbourhood have cleared one hurdle in their effort to keep a local food store.

The neighbourhood's only existing full service grocery store, the Shop Easy on 7th Avenue, is closing in a few days and the property is up for sale.

Residents worried that its corporate owner Loblaws, would legally block whoever buys it from selling food there, potentially turning the area into a "food desert" and forcing them to shop outside the neighbourhood.

But Friday local city councillor Darren Hill said he got an email from a Loblaws executive assuring him the company won't do that.

"I am happy to report that Loblaw Properties Limited vice president of properties has informed me that they will not impose restrictive language on the pending sale agreement, regarding the sale of food product, at the location of the Shop Easy on 7th Ave." Hill posted on his Facebook page.

Last month the community association set up a working group to figure out how to replace the store.

There's no word yet on what progress they're making.