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Shipping-Container Markets Along MetroLink Await Bi-State Decision

February 5, 2020 Link Market
Courtesy of Link Market

In January, St. Louis’ regional transit agency considered taking on operation of the embattled Loop Trolley — and ultimately declined to do so. At this month’s meeting of the Bi-State Development board, a totally different project’s future will come before the agency: the two shipping-container-sized grocery stores located along MetroLink in north St. Louis County.

The stores are operated by a nonprofit subcontractor, Link Market, which formed about two years ago. They were funded by a grant Bi-State was awarded from the Missouri Foundation for Health and meant to be a pilot project addressing the region’s food deserts. But this past summer, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tony Messenger, Link Market founder Dr. Jeremy Goss learned Bi-State had concerns about their financial viability.

After a meeting of various parties in St. Louis County Executive Sam Page’s office, the shipping-container markets got an extension from Bi-State. And as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Andrew Nguyen explained on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Bi-State’s board should vote Feb. 21 on a proposal to donate the shipping containers to the Link Market.

February 5, 2020 Jeremy Goss Andrew Nguyen
Credit Photo Courtesy of Link Market (Goss) and Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio
Dr. Jeremy Goss, left, and Andrew Nguyen of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

That donation would allow Link Market to make some changes, Dr. Goss explained — including relocating the underserved market in Wellston, which is basically closed. He hopes to relocate the shipping container to the Grand MetroLink station.

“I think the vote that happens this month isn’t necessarily a severing of the partnership, whether they decide to give the markets to us or not,” Dr. Goss said. “Obviously, it’s our hope that they’ll make the decision to give them to us. It gives us control of the destiny of those markets, and it will allow us to relocate the Wellston market, which currently is underperforming, and put it into a community at one of their train stations where it could be of better service to more folks.” 

The segment also included comments from Bi-State’s vice president for economic development, John Langa, and from area residents, who talked with production intern Joshua Phelps.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.