Mayor Meeker now wants the City to help build a grocery store downtown. The City Council has voted to loan $300,000 to a real estate company to build an upscale ‘Fresh Market’ type grocery store downtown (News and Observer, 12-08-05).
Now, as far as I can tell there have been several hundred grocery stores built around Raleigh without one penny of taxpayers’ money. So why is a government loan necessary this time?
This is speculation but according to the News and Observer, ‘grocery stores tend to open in sites where at least 10,000 people live within a two-mile radius.’ The city says only 2,200 people live downtown. So the Mayor may have arranged a little helping hand with this loan to get this grocery store downtown.
There’s something else shocking about that number – that only 2,200 people live downtown. The city’s been boasting a lot about its billion dollar ‘renaissance’ and ‘revitalization’ downtown. A billion dollars and 2,200 people. That’s $450,000 each.