Thursday, January 26, 2017

DMC: Dreaming of a Downtown Grocery Store

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 1:01 PM

click to enlarge The Downtown Memphis Commission met for its annual board retreat Thursday. - TOBY SELLS
  • Toby Sells
  • The Downtown Memphis Commission met for its annual board retreat Thursday.

What's the hottest topic of discussion among those thinking about and working for a better Downtown Memphis?

That's right. A Downtown grocery store.

Alright, maybe that's not completely accurate. But the topic was the hottest and longest-discussed during a panel session Thursday during the Downtown Memphis Commission's (DMC) annual board retreat.

Most members of the DMC and its affiliate boards gathered at Alfred's on Beale for a day of presentations and team-build-y/trust-fall-y type stuff.

But they also listened to and asked questions of an impressive panel that included luminaries in different fields. Memphis Police Department director Michael Rallings was there. So was Regena Bearden, chief marketing officer for the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Josh Pogue, CEO at Poag Shopping Centers, and Carol Coletta, senior fellow with the Kresge Foundation's American Cities Practice.

That group and members of the audience covered topics like security, jobs, tourism, and more. But nothing - nothing - captured time and imagination like the idea of a Downtown grocery store. 

What kind of store should it be? Where should it be? Where would they park the cars? Would it be more convenient than the Kroger on Union? Is the supermarket concept on its way out? What about food halls? All of these questions were raised.

How much time was spent on the notion you ask? Have a look at our handy-dandy (and pretty close-to-the-minute) chart:

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