What Do We Want?

Urbanism/Urban Design/Public Policy/San Antonio

A grocery store!

Living downtown San Antonio at the Pearl has thus far proven to be wonderful. Especially when held up next to the past lifetime I’ve spent living in suburban neighborhoods, life downtown is much more interesting to look at and live in. We’re only ever a short walk away from restaurants, bars, shopping, outdoor activities and other daily conveniences you may find yourself searching for–like a dry cleaner or dog groomer. The only thing missing is a grocery store.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what type of grocery store will best fit the needs of the varied demographics of the area. Some say a fine foods and wine type of place would work well, but others argue that would price out the lower income families residing in the neighborhood. On the flip side, some have suggested a corner store type of establishment, just a place to pick up eggs and bread when you run out. Others still think a miniature Whole Foods with fresh, local made goods are sold would be best.

I think a mixture of the three would be ideal. A place you could pick up good produce, but also a loaf of bread when you run out, or a decent bottle of wine to go with dinner. Something for everyone in the area at reasonable prices. If the prices of this new store are a bit too high, I’d remind any one arguing for the poorer families that they are already shopping elsewhere for groceries, so this would just be an added convenience.

If the prices are extremely low and you think perhaps the higher earning folks won’t feel comfortable going there, I’d point out that it’s still primarily serving the function of convenience. If the patrons prefer fancier fare they can gas up the SUV and drive to Lincoln Heights where they’ve already been getting their food. We have to start somewhere. As the neighborhood grows and develops its own identity I think we’ll be able to tailor the store(s) to the crowd. The businesses desired will hear the call of their market and move in. In the mean time we all really just want a place a bit closer by to go grab the necessities.

And when do we want it?


This was originally published here