Trader Joe's drops black-neighborhood store plan

by AP

alt

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.


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.



More Local

PTC church reaching out on Christmas

While many churches had activities on Christmas Eve, for most churchgoers in the local area, today will be a time for family. Members of St. ... Read More


Christmas photo contest

Magic of season in children’s eyes

This year’s Newnan Times-Herald Christmas Photo Contest entries had some wonderful images that conveyed the magic and wonder of Christ ... Read More


Christmas services scheduled tonight

Crowds are expected at Coweta church services today. A 2012 study by LifeWay Research, a Southern Baptist research agency, showed Christmas ... Read More


Stargell’s death considered accidental drowning

After further investigation, authorities with the Newnan Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation believe Willie Jerel Stargell ... Read More


Woman’s body found after house fire extinguished

After investigating the home where a woman was found dead by Newnan firefighters Monday, authorities believe the woman’s death was acc ... Read More

Police on lookout for shooting suspect

Police are on the lookout for a person suspected of shooting a Union City man at least once on Saturday in Newnan. About 5 a.m., Officer Jon ... Read More