http://loudersoft.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/loudersoft
Everything is a rumor until it's in print. Three summers ago, I was at The Peabody when I met a gentleman who worked for Publix Real Estate that was visiting Memphis. I never asked and he never expressly told me his reason for being in town; however, I surmised after seeing an article about the Union Precinct possibly becoming a grocery store in future that his visit might be related. It's still a rumor, and three years later there's no change in the grocery wars of the city.
I can't disagree with you about wealth inequality in Midtown or about Whole Foods being in the business of capitalism. Trader Joe's, however, is an open conversation & one that will continue thanks to Trader Joe's opening a distribution center in Texas (reported back in May by the Memphis Business Blog). Trader Joe's is still quite viable.
Thank you for sharing your opinion on the way in which I originally made my point, you must have sensed my interest in your anonymous thoughts on the matter.
Regarding the actual subject: Fresh Market was looking at Midtown, that conversation (last I heard) has stalled because of an ongoing concern over the real estate, same reason that Whole Foods stopped pursuing Midtown as well. Either way, everything west of Poplar & Highland is in need of an option besides Kroger or the West Memphis Wal-Mart (because who wants to shop at Wal-Mart either?) . I hope that these ongoing real estate battles will eventually lead to an agreement for Whole Foods rather than Fresh Market to reconsider Midtown. I would be fine if Trader Joe's were to make the leap as well, Nashville has one and it seems to be doing just fine.
So far, two people have missed my point entirely and made their own. I'm not against Whole Foods or against another competing whole food/organic market/grocery store in town or against boycotting Kroger (which I wish we could all do). You're all completely, totally and thoroughly missing it. So, I'll be more explicit:
a) From Downtown to Whole Foods is almost 12 miles taking Poplar Avenue. It's 20 if you take the interstate. Compare that to 6 miles from Germantown where they are talking about developing this Whole Foods.
b) In that same area from Downtown east to Whole Foods, the only other options for Downtowners and Midtowners are two really shitty Kroger locations -- which both lack in choice and option for organic/whole food consumers & are overpriced because of Kroger's monopoly on the local market -- and one huge Mega-Kroger at Poplar Plaza. Construction of another Mega-Kroger on Union will begin in (I believe) February, but that still leaves consumers without any options in our very under-served neighborhoods.
I'm not in favor of granting convenience to people who already have numerous options in the 11 miles between where they live and Whole Foods -- including Whole Foods, Fresh Market and several completely remodeled Krogers, including THREE between Perkins and White Station along the Poplar corridor.
Many of these downtown and midtown consumers, who end up having to drive further in to reach Whole Foods than Germantowners, have shopped at Whole Foods/Wild Oats/Squash Blossom long before it became mainstream or a point of fashion as it is for many consumers in the suburban areas of town.
Give everyone a break and put a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's in Midtown.
I'm all for there being another Whole Foods, so don't twist what I'm saying. For the area stretching from Downtown Memphis east to Poplar & Highland, there's nothing but two shitty Krogers and one mega-Kroger that is still 8.5 miles from Downtown. It's a full 11 miles down Poplar (20 if you take the interstate) from Downtown Memphis to Whole Foods as it is.
With a growing inner-city population of young urban professionals, handing off development of another Whole Foods to Germantown is irksome. That's all.
This is an important development because God knows that suburbanites shouldn't be inconvenienced by having to drive miles and miles, forced to waste their gasoline by driving all the way to East Memphis for their organic pomegranates and truffle oil. Fucking grand.
What the hell is Twitter?
DKDC in internet speak = Don't Know, Don't Care, right? :) Either way, this is going to be spectacular, as Karen's ventures always seem to be. This one is particularly inspired & I'm looking forward to it.
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By Joe Boone
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