NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- After nearly two years of not having a grocery store in the Southeast Community of Newport News, Jim’s Local Market is getting ready to open.

The store is under constructed on Jefferson Ave. near 30th St., in the Brooks Crossing Development. It’s scheduled to open May 10.

City officials got to tour the building Monday. “We are a food desert. This is going to be one of those things that is going to help bring health back to our community,” said Saundra Cherry on City Council.

Jim Scanlon is developing the layout and will operate the store. The city owns the building. The design is sleek and easy to sanitize.

PHOTOS: Jim's Local Market under construction

Scanlon said the emphasis will be on fresh produce and freshly prepared meals. Right now, the nearest grocery store is about five miles away.

“I’m trying to bring healthier food to the table and better choices. It’s all about choices,” said Scanlon.

Many of the store employees will come from the community. Tina Vick on City Council said, “In one day, there were over 300 people who came to apply for positions at this store. I’m very excited we could bring this to the community."

In addition to food, the store has a community room. “My hope is that it brings people from the community to meet in the store as a gathering place,” said Scanlon.