Hey young and old urbanites, I wish to address an issue that so many of my downtown friends and clients bring up... "We need a quality, full scale grocery store Downtown!"
It has gotten to the point in the last l5 or so years of active redevelopment of the urban core that we have HIT THE WALL with our progress! Buyer's come to me wanting to move downtown and many end up buying elsewhere because of access to a reasonable grocery store. Or, they buy downtown and want to sell a couple years later because of this inconvenience. Or, they just keep bitching about lack of access with no one listening. These are small examples - but overall it just feels like we have hit an invisible wall with progressive development because a combination of targeting the wrong audience (too much high end and not enough affordable) and lack of quality groceries.
My point is that (just get there Cris...) I think we need to start a campaign to get the city council to create an incentive package to lure a progressive, high quality, full service grocer into an accessible location Downtown.
Grocers have, over the past 10 years or so, been approached by a number of politicians and developers trying to coax them into the core. They all wanted a building package and parking spaces not conducive to progressive high density development. They also claimed that downtown doesn't yet have the "demographic" necessary to support their bottom line. This is something that large chain developers always say until they open up and get slammed with new business. (Look, for example, at the new Sunshine Market on Lomas and ... is it Washington? San Mateo? up there...) Then they scream and yell about how great THEY are because their new store is "beating all expectations"
SO, I have come to believe that we are not going to get through this development gauntlet without a strong and targeted subsidized incentive package to bring a full service grocer downtown. This is more important than a new convention Center, an Events Center, a Sports Stadium, (or any other exceedingly grand vision promoted by our current Mayor... except, perhaps, the Rail Yards project which I support)
Anyway, I am at this point not prepared to launch a campaign on this issue myself... I would like to plant the seed for public support in this direction. I think many of you who live downtown might agree.