New Save A Lot store and artwork spark hope for people in East Chattanooga neighborhood
The produce section in the recently opened Save-a-lot on Dodson avenue. (Image: WTVC)

Parts of East Chattanooga are getting a new look.

Many people are celebrating the grand opening of a Save A Lot store on Dodson Avenue and the newly revamped area around it.

Many in the community are saying it serves as more than just a grocery store.

Commissioner Warren Mackey calls this Save A Lot a victory for East Chattanooga.

Eric Price reports.

"I pointed out to them they can get fresh produce here, they can get fresh meat here and if this store wasn't here how far do they have to travel," said Mackey.

Its been a two-decade long fight to bring this basic resource into the community, Mackey says.

The Save A Lot opened six months ago, but today the community celebrated its grand opening.

But this isn't the only new addition to the neighborhood.

The new Glass Street Gateway initiative revamps the public space around and near the store with art.

The community hopes it will bridge a safer path to the only grocery store in the area.

Asphalt art created by Jordan Scruggs to lead a safe pathway to the Save-a-lot. (Image: WTVC){p}{/p}{p}{/p}

Dr. Ternae Jordan, the pastor of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, knows all too well the many necessities needed in this community.

"If you look at the zip code of this community there is deficiencies in everything," says Jordan.

Dr. Ternae Jordan, pastor of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, grew up in the community near Dodson avenue and Glass street. (Image: WTVC){p}{/p}

Commissioner Mackey and Pastor Jordan say the area is still missing banks and other assets needed for people to live comfortably.

"I'm glad that the city is beginning to focus in this area," said Jordan.

The top priority of the grand opening today is to ensure safety in the community.

That's why artist Jordan Scruggs helped create the asphalt art and decorated seating areas to help children and families follow a safer path to the store.

"We wanted it to be engaging and welcoming for them and that's what the artwork is doing right now," said Scruggs.

Jordan Scruggs is an artist who grew up in the neighborhood that created the asphalt art. (Image: WTVC){p}{/p}{p}{/p}{p}{/p}

Community leaders are hoping this is a step in the right direction.

"Police officers, our new mayor hopefully is gonna wrap his arms around so we can bring East Chattanooga and the Avondale area back," said Dr. Jordan.

Today's event was part of the "Asphalt Art Initiative".

It's being funded by a $25,000 grant that's using art and design to revamp public spaces and improve safety.

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