Convenience Store Closed By City To Reopen Under New Owner
Amritpal Singh plans Sunshine Supermarket at former site of Chambers East Food Market.
Amritpal Singh plans to open Sunshine Supermarket at 200 E. Chambers St., the former site of Chambers East Food Market. The Milwaukee Licenses Committee signed off on the business’s food dealers license last week. The full Common Council will consider the matter on Dec. 12.
Back in April, the council opted not to renew the license for Chambers East due to ongoing issues at the location including loitering and litter, as well as the use of drugs, alcohol and weapons inside the store. During the proceedings, area Alderwoman Milele Coggs voted in favor of the closure, citing her concern for her constituents’ safety. But testimony from neighbors, many of whom said that they rely on the store for basic necessities, didn’t go unheard.
Per Coggs’ request, Sunshine Supermarket will sell meats, fresh produce and other grocery staples. “I’m not moved about chips and soda, but having access to fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs and other things you really need as sustenance for life, I am moved by,” she said during a Nov. 28 Licenses Committee hearing. “And I understand neighbors’ desire to have that as close to them as possible.”
During the hearing, Singh and his attorney, Michael Maistelman, presented a mitigation plan to curb issues that have previously plagued the location.
The plan includes regular meetings with Jocelyn Kalmanson, community liaison officer for the Milwaukee Police Department; installation of additional security cameras that will be registered with MPD; collaboration with a licensed security professional to assess needs and make a safety plan for the premises; hiring licensed security personnel; conducting monthly employee meetings to reiterate policies and procedures; installation of new light fixtures to discourage loitering; picking up litter three times daily and a handful of other measures.
Singh also shared that he has so far invested $60,000 into the property, and plans to take further steps to beautify the area.
More than a dozen neighbors attended the hearing to testify in support of Sunshine Supermarket. Several told the committee that they have already observed positive changes at the business.
In response to the testimony, Coggs told assembled residents that she’s hopeful Singh will usher in positive change to the neighborhood.
“It’s important to me that we demand the best of people who do business in our community,” she said. “I know we want convenience, but that convenience should never come as a compromise for our safety, for quality products and for good treatment.”
Addressing Singh, Coggs said she’s looking forward to working together in order to make Harambee “one of the best neighborhoods in the city.”
Sunshine Supermarket will be allowed to sell only food for its first several months in business. If things go smoothly, Coggs said she would be willing to grant the store its liquor license.
Once open, the store’s proposed hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, according to a license application.
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