Neighborhoods can't live on fast food...

Neighborhoods can't live on fast food alone

There are 38 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jul 9, 2009, titled Neighborhoods can't live on fast food alone. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

When Andre Perrin and Amy Knapp moved from Wicker Park to a new mixed-income neighborhood on Chicago's Near West Side, they never imagined how much time they'd spend agitating over something as seemingly simple as a grocery store.

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I agree with Frankie

Redwood Estates, CA

#22 Jul 11, 2009
You're preaching to the choir my friend. We all want Pete's. You'd have to be blind (or corrupt) to not see otherwise. Unfortunately, we have an alderman who just doesn't care about his consitutents. Fioretti wants Food 4 Worthless for reasons yet unknown. He claimed that "2000 signatures" were submitted in favor of F4L but he won't disclose where those signatures came from. In other words, HE'S HIDING SOMETHING. I hate getting invovled in all this intrigue crap that goes on at City Hall, all these behind the scenes deals among cronies over who get the deal, who gets the campaign contribution, and who gets the next shot at the next slated position that comes open. It's all BS, but that's how City Hall works. Fioretti said he was going to rise above all of this corruption, but unfortunately he is now wallowing in the mud with the rest of the petty dictators that run this corrupt city. Just another campaign promise he has broken.
James Reyes

Chicago, IL

#23 Jul 11, 2009
If aldermen want legal travelling fruit and vegetable vendors,they could encourage this by offering free peddling licenses to such vendors in food desserts.Or use their discretionary funds to pay for the vendors licenses personally.
Food 4 Less Beef Recall

Chicago, IL

#24 Jul 11, 2009
Kroger Recall: Ground Beef Sold at Kroger... and Food 4 Less...
On June 30, 2009, Kroger recalled select store-brand and store-packaged ground beef...
This recall involves Kroger ground beef sold in the following stores:
Food 4 Less stores in Illinois and Indiana.
www.pritzkerlaw.com/section-foodborne-illness...

Since: Aug 07

Evanston

#25 Jul 12, 2009
America the Feudal wrote:
<quoted text>
You're glossing over/ignoring the mortgage option. For the same money down, a grocery operator could OWN his property after 10 years of payments equal to or LESS than what he would pay towards a lease. And, after 10 years, no more payments meaning fixed cost savings that could be passed onto the customers.
Leases make sense only if you have zero credit rating. Pete's has good credit, and plenty of money for downpayments...because he owns, doesn't lease...he leases out to others in fact.
The holdup on this deal is getting the property into secret land trusts and then playing poker to determine who gets to share in the secret trust's proceeds forevermore.
I don't know anything about Pete's, so I can't comment on what his preference is or what is the best for his business. But you are wrong that leasing only makes sense for those with no credit. There is no functional difference between a 20 year lease and a mortgage. But with the lease you don't have to front 10's or 100's of thousands in a downpayment. Plus bank provided commercial loans are almost always 5 year loans, so you have interest rate and refinance risk. Longer term financing is around, but it's hard to find right now.

Since: Aug 07

Evanston

#26 Jul 12, 2009
Oh, and you are delusional to believe that a retailer could own a building in 10-years for the same payment as their lease.

Maybe in Detroit where you can buy real estate for loose change, but not in Chicago.
Michael Galbreath

Peotone, IL

#27 Jul 13, 2009
Projects like a Near West Side neighborhood grocery story with quality, fresh produce and fair prices should be supplemented by a federal stimulus grant. This type of project makes sense for federal investment in a community. The store would employ new taxpayers, help instruct all on the need for healthy foods, and build a community center to better bring together the diverse members of this community of wealthy, middle income and poor. Such neighborhoods are the future of Chicago if Chicago is to have a future as a great city.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#28 Jul 13, 2009
The answer is what the aldermen shake in fear of: Super Wal-Marts.
I want WalMart

Naperville, IL

#29 Jul 13, 2009
Then let's get those WalMarts in here!!! At least if we don't like WalMart, we vote with our dollars and go elswhere. As for the aldermen, they have the system rigged, which is why they keep getting re-elected. They are all a bunch of corrupt good-for-nothings. What have they ever done for us?
Born on the west side

Chicago, IL

#30 Jul 13, 2009
Why are these stories when new 'urban' residents move in? I grew up on the west side when poor stores where there and now no stores...the legacy of poverty, racism, poor education and bad political representation continues.
America the Feudal

United States

#31 Jul 13, 2009
Bankerdanny wrote:
Oh, and you are delusional to believe that a retailer could own a building in 10-years for the same payment as their lease.
Maybe in Detroit where you can buy real estate for loose change, but not in Chicago.
...or on the west side of Chicago in a very very poor neighborhood?

I believe Walmart also OWNS their own stores. They have their own real estate division that holds property and rents it out internally to the individual stores.

A lease is usually set up to pay the landlord's mortgage on the property PLUS give him a profit. In addition it will have a broker assigned who takes his own cut/percentage of the monthly payments (is that you). So, in reality, a store operator is paying the mortgage, plus the added amounts for some absentee landlord to live high on plus the broker add-on's plus some kind of profit...the store operator pays that forever, even after the original mortgage is paid in full, forever and ever. Whatever happened to a store operator eventually owning his store, and at some point being able to invest in remodeling of the store or passing on cost savings to his customers or investing in the store itself, after the property was paid for??
Chicago the Feudal

Evergreen Park, IL

#32 Jul 13, 2009
Thank you Feudal. Well said. I just want to know if the rumors that I hear about the City owning most of the land on the west side are true? If so, why is the City in the land business? Is the City going to be the landlord for whatever store goes in (hopefully NOT Food 4 Less)? Or will the City simply cut a deal with one of its moocher agencies to develop the land? And what does the alderman get - a campaign contribution, the good graces of the mayor, or both? Finally, will we the people be left holding the bag for this corruption, with tracks of land remaining undeveloped and a grocery store that is substandard - and currently subject to an e-coli recall?
Jaime

Thornton, IL

#33 Jul 13, 2009
There is something rotten in the state of Denmark, or Illinois. This area is trying to claw it's way out of poverty. The last thing it needs is a crappy grocery store like Food For Less that despite it's name, is not very affordable. Not to mention that liquor sales will probably account for 30% of it's revenue. Pete's market does not sell liquor, only fresh produce.

What's next, a pawn shop and a currency exchange. Thanks, but no thanks.
Ossifer

Joliet, IL

#34 Jul 14, 2009
Interested Observer wrote:
This story reminds me of all the stories about "famine" in places like Ethiopia. It always turns out that the reason people are starving has more to do with local power struggles than with actual lack of food. Welcome to the third world...
I don't think any grocery store will survive in the ghetto. The ghetto mentality is "i'm hungry now, so I will just go to Maxwell Depot and get a pork chop sandwich, or go to Habib's Liquor Store and get some flaming hot cheetos and a grape pop". there is no thinking into the future. I have worked in every ghetto and project in this city, on each shift, and the one thing I have NEVER seen has been residents carrying grocery bags into their homes-even when there have been quality grocery stores nearby.
Moose

Mooseheart, IL

#35 Jul 14, 2009
There are enough residents to warrant a decent grocery store. The Pete's just south on 22nd is always crowded. If Food For Less opens up I will not shop there and continue to go to Pete's on Cermak. I get the impression that there are forces that do not want this area to revitalize or redevelop. What gives?
Mich

Chicago, IL

#36 Jul 15, 2009
Food 4 Less can't be any worse than the lesser Dominick's in my area. I drive to shop despite the fact they would say I'm not in a desert, but considering we have a single choice of many products, wilted veggies, can't even buy bulk sausage.
Bernie

Mooseheart, IL

#37 Jul 16, 2009
Mich wrote:
Food 4 Less can't be any worse than the lesser Dominick's in my area. I drive to shop despite the fact they would say I'm not in a desert, but considering we have a single choice of many products, wilted veggies, can't even buy bulk sausage.
At least you have wilted veggies. I'm not even sure Food For Less has veggies, unless you consider ketchup to be a vegetable. Oh wait, my bad, they have plenty of canned veggies, does that count?
Mich

Chicago, IL

#38 Jul 16, 2009
Bernie wrote:
At least you have wilted veggies. I'm not even sure Food For Less has veggies, unless you consider ketchup to be a vegetable. Oh wait, my bad, they have plenty of canned veggies, does that count?
Every Food 4 Less I've seen has vegetables. Granted I find them to be of my local Dom's quality, which was my point.
Speakin da Truth

Tinley Park, IL

#39 Aug 21, 2009
I just shake my head at these kinds of stories. I feel for those poor yuppies in the story who have to drive 3 miles to get their Grey Poupon. I really do. But the bottom line is if you move to a place to save money, you have to understand that the business mix will reflect the tastes of the majority. Sorry but if that wasn't the case then everyone would be moving to the neighborhoods where houses sell for $20,000. There's a reason people pay more to live in Wicker Park than East Garfield Park.

The bottom line is grocery stores need to make money and in ghetto 'hoods, people don't grocery shop. Not at Jewel, not at Pete's, not at Food 4 Less (unless it has a liquor department, then they may grab a bag of Ranch Doritos and a 2-Liter of orange Ni-Hi if it's near the register). If you put a Whole Foods in Englewood, the residents would look at the thing like a UFO just landed in 'da hood! It wouldn't make a cent.

As someone said, it's all about instant gratification there, which is why these neighborhoods are littered with fast food joints, be they chains like McDonalds or smaller places that serve up fried fare. You need to change that mentality first.

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