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Trader Joe's won't build in an African American neighborhood after complaints it would price the community out.

Posted by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM
  • 98 Replies

With complaints of food deserts, wouldn't this be a really good thing to have there?



Trader Joe's drops black-neighborhood store plan

Associated Press


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Trader Joe's grocery-store chain has dropped a plan to open a new store in the heart of the city's historically African-American neighborhood after activists said the development would price black residents out of the area.

The grocer, whose stores are found in urban neighborhoods across the nation, said Monday it wouldn't press its plan, given community resistance, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1n7Jyqb ) reported.

"We open a limited number of stores each year, in communities across the country," it said in a statement. "We run neighborhood stores, and our approach is simple: If a neighborhood does not want a Trader Joe's, we understand, and we won't open the store in question."

The Portland Development Commission had offered a steep discount to the grocer on a parcel of nearly two acres that was appraised at up to $2.9 million: a purchase price of slightly more than $500,000. The lot is at Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and has been vacant for years.

Critics said the development would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in one of the most rapidly gentrifying ZIP codes in the nation.

The Portland African American Leadership Forum said the development commission had in the past made promises about preventing projects from displacing community members but hadn't fulfilled them.

It sent the city a letter saying it would "remain opposed to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the Black community." It said the grocery-store development would "increase the desirability of the neighborhood," for "non-oppressed populations."

Mayor Charlie Hales and the urban renewal agency's executive director, Patrick Quinton, signed a letter in January that described what they said was the commission's contributions "to the destructive impact of gentrification and displacement on the African American community."

Trader Joe's is based in Monrovia, Calif. Its store would have been the anchor of a two-building development that included space for four to 10 shops and 100 parking spaces. A company owned by African-Americans in Portland had been slated to build it.

Hales said Monday it was too soon to determine what might happen to the vacant lot.

by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
1stpreggers
by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM
I guess I'm simple why is this bad ?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Sisteract
by Whoopie on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM
5 moms liked this

TJ's is not high priced.


mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:37 PM
3 moms liked this

So Trader Joe's is complying with the residents wishes and this is bad  how?

Why would a company open a store in a community where they are not wanted?

Trader Joe's is the polar opposite of walmart.

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM
2 moms liked this

 I agree, They are fantastic.

Quoting Sisteract:

TJ's is not high priced.


 

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM
1 mom liked this

Dd you know that Trader Joe's is owned by the Aldi Parent corp.

Did you know that the european grocery story Lidl is coming to the states with the first stores to be in Virginia - yippy

tanyainmizzou
by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Things like TJ's bring gentrification to neighborhood.   If more white/Asian people move in, their argument is it raises the prices of the homes.   So, to keep the neighborhood affordable, you have to keep things like TJ's and Pottery Barn and Whole Foods out of these areas.

Quoting 1stpreggers: I guess I'm simple why is this bad ?


KenneMaw
by Bronze Member on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM

If the community didn't want them there, for whatever reason, I respect TJ's for listening to the community.    I have friends that live in western West Virginia and the town was lobbying for a TJ's or Whole Foods, but both stores are not interested because they feel the majority of that area isn't interested in healthy food.   Several groceries stores have tried adding healthier options, vegetarian and vegan items, etc...but they do not sell at all.  So maybe TJ's just felt that this area in Portland wouldn't be profitable.

tanyainmizzou
by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:40 PM
1 mom liked this

I think it is bad these people are being denied a good store in their neighborhood that would have employed people, used an African-American construction firm to build it, developed a tax base, and brought foods to a food desert.

Quoting mikiemom:

So Trader Joe's is complying with the residents wishes and this is bad  how?

Why would a company open a store in a community where they are not wanted?

Trader Joe's is the polar opposite of walmart.


1stpreggers
by on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:41 PM
Thanks for the clarification. Isn't that a good thing for homeowners though ? Idk if this community is more houses or apartments though.

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

Things like TJ's bring gentrification to neighborhood.   If more white/Asian people move in, their argument is it raises the prices of the homes.   So, to keep the neighborhood affordable, you have to keep things like TJ's and Pottery Barn and Whole Foods out of these areas.

Quoting 1stpreggers: I guess I'm simple why is this bad ?


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
jjames1990
by Member on Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:41 PM

I love TJ's.  We have Wegmans here, and love them also.  However, I have to drive 15+ miles to get to one.  They won't open here, because they don't think our community can afford their prices.

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