With the cost of everything going up, groceries are becoming even harder to buy. Now with gas prices rising almost by the hour, it really hurts your budget if you have to drive out of your area to shop -- on top of purchasing food.

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Unfortunately, efforts to bring a new grocery store to North Killeen, Texas have failed. The City of Killeen was working with a regional grocer to add a location at the intersection of North 38th Street and East Rancier Avenue, but after months of negotiations, the developer of the 30-acre site wasn't able to sign a deal in time.

North Killeen Grocery Store Plans

KCEN is reporting that the Killeen Economic Development Corporation as well as the Killeen Chamber of Commerce had been communicating with the owner and developer of the land. According to City Councilman Jose Segarra and former City Councilwoman Mellisa Brown, the grocery company was hoping to break ground earlier this year.

The name of the grocery chain involved was not released. The area is the former location of Northside 10 Cinema, and is managed by Lovett Commercial.

A Food Desert in Central Texas

The vacant site in North Killeen is also in a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, which allows additional incentives to attract business. However, it doesn't seem to be bringing more grocery stores into the area.

According to the Killeen Daily Herald, North Killeen residents have been without a major grocer for three years, since IGA and H-E-B closed their stores due to declining sales. Right now, those living in the area face at least a 20 minute trip to Harker Heights or down Trimmier Road to get to the nearest grocery store. Convenience stores may carry groceries, but the prices are higher and the selection is limited, especially for fresh fruit and vegetables.

In the meantime, a creative solution is needed from city officials to meet everyone's needs that won't increase the stress on wallets in Central Texas. Let's hope it happens soon.

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