Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pictures of Progress?

I snapped a couple quick pictures with my phone today while out running a few work-related trips again. This is the empty lot in Ward's Corner here in Norfolk that's going to become a new Harris Teeter grocery store in 2014.

The buildings that were here on this lot were the Ward's Corner Shopping Center (a strip mall that included a Radio Shack, a Dollar Tree, a Thai Restaurant, a Kindred Spirits store, John Lynch Books, a Tokyo Mart, men's barber shop, vacuum and sewing machine repair shop, shoe shop, and others), an AJ Gators restaurant (that used to be a Warehouse Music as well as a Blockbuster). a plasma donation place, and a building that had a dental office and another barber shop in it.

BTW, see the green crane looking thing on the left of this picture? That's where I killed my '88 Plymouth Horizon, as mentioned in the previous post. That's about where the cement-filled metal pipe was sticking up out of the ground. There were actually two of them, and I guess they were meant to guard a back door out of the Warehouse Music (because that's what the building was when I hit the pole).


"Harris Teeter, Inc. (Harris Teeter), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., was co-founded in 1960 by North Carolina grocers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter. Harris Teeter now operates over 200 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia and is traded under Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. on the New York Stock Exchange."

This is entirely the wrong spot for a Harris Teeter. HT is kind of an expensive grocery store. This area has strip malls and lots of apartment buildings. This is not an affluent, or even high-income, area. This is a low to medium income area. It's fairly pedestrian-friendly and the buses go through here regularly. There are still three other strip malls within a one block distance and four fast food restaurants just as close. I'm not insulting the neighborhood, I know this area: we used to live in an apartment not too far away from here and the book store I go to is across the street from this lot. I still shop over here. While Ward's Corner has really cleaned up and become all around better over the last 10-15 years, this is still not a HT-type neighborhood.

Just down the street from this lot, there's a Farm Fresh and a Kroger grocery store. Go a couple miles down further, and there's a Super Wal-Mart. Turn and go away from these pictures, and there's a Food Lion. Further in another direction is the Navy Commissary. We just don't need another grocery store there, but the deal with the city is done and time marches on.

Personally, I would have liked to see a Taylor's Do It Center here, or maybe a Petsmart or an AC Moore. Something retail that we didn't already have now would have been a better way to go. With a glut of grocery stores, I don't think Ward's Corner can support this one.

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