Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Time for a Grocery Bailout?

The issue of opening a grocery store on Kalamazoo's Northside has surface once again.

Kalamazoo's north side will get a new grocery store in 2010, official says

Kalamazoo’s north side will have a new grocery store in 2010, the director of the Northside Association for Community Development said.

Director Mattie Jordan-Woods said local officials have received at least six responses to a recent request-for-proposals for a new store to replace a Felpausch grocery that closed in May.
What sparked this interest?

The project received a $200,000 boost from the city of Kalamazoo in June. City commissioners approved offering “operational support” to a new business, including a $100,000 grant and a $100,000 loan.

Jordan-Woods said the fact the building is owned by a NACD-subsidiary boosts prospects for having another grocery store there.

“If it had been owed by a private company, it would most likely have been sold off,” she said. “Ownership gives us control over what happens there.”
Massive taxpayer subsidies, of course!

She called the grocery store an economic stimulus to the area, where she said $10 million of development occurred from 2003 to 2008, including a new $4.2 million Kalamazoo Public Safety station.
Ah, stimulus.

Jordan-Woods said the association has received a mix of suggestions for the type of grocery operation that should be located there. Those range from an upscale, specialty store to a discount, self-serve grocery.
Neither of those sounds like a good idea in that location.

Maybe lower taxes would encourage business in Kalamazoo.

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