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Discussion “ongoing” for grocery

The potential for new industry at Midtown Square, which included interest from a boutique grocery business, remains under discussion, the spokesman for Longwood University confirmed Sept. 21.

Matt McWilliams

Matt McWilliams, university spokesman, said in an email that “Conversations about possibilities for Midtown are ongoing.”

In 2017, the university’s Office of Community and Economic Development and the Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP) began working with a market analysis and strategic planning firm to recruit a boutique grocery to Midtown Square in downtown Farmville.

University officials in 2017 said at least one company in the boutique grocery business has expressed serious interest in the idea, “and the project is entering an important next phase with a series of town hallstyle listening forums to solicit public input.”

FDP and Longwood’s Office of Community and Economic Development sponsored an online survey last fall and held forums for students and the general public to evaluate the potential for a grocery market in downtown Farmville.

The goal of the approximately five-minute survey was to help organizations better understand how a new local market might be utilized by the community and what types of food or grocery items should be included.

“More than a thousand people participated in the grocery survey, which provided unique and comprehensive insight into the needs and wants of the community,” McWilliams said in an email Friday. “We are still in talks on what kind of grocery/market would meet the needs of the community.”