The site of the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York, will reopen after undergoing renovations following the May massacre that left 10 people dead.
The grocery store, part of the Tops Friendly Markets chain, has been closed since May 14, when an armed man traveled to the predominantly Black neighborhood and opened fire on shoppers.
The store, according to Tops President John Persons, is preparing to reopen at the end of July, Buffalo News reported.
According to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, just about everything is new inside, WKBW-TV reported.
“The store looks completely different inside,” Brown told reporters Tuesday. “It does not look like the same store on the inside.”
Brown said the store has new floors, more open areas and more food offerings, according to WKBW-TV. The mayor added there would be “increased” security, the news station said.
Still, Carlina Jones, a Buffalo resident, told WKBW-TV it would be hard to go back to the Tops.
“And I’ll hope when I go in there, it’s going to work out well that I’ll continue shopping,” Jones said.
Other community members also shared their reluctance to return to the Tops, even though it was one of the few markets in an area known as a “food desert” due to its lack of grocery stores and restaurants.
The neighborhood has “little access to cheap, healthy choices,” The New York Times reported.
Black residents in Buffalo are “six times more likely than white residents” to be in a neighborhood without a grocery store, according to a 2018 report by Buffalo nonprofit Partnership for the Public Good.
Brown, who has been the city’s mayor since 2006, said he thought the “horrific event had opened the eyes of corporations and grocery stores and the city was reaching out to chains other than Tops.
“But I believe they need to place somewhere else near or wherever they want, but definitely in our community, because we need it – we need more than one option,” Brown said.