Originally Posted by McBane
This is such a ridiculous article, excuse for me not reading the whole thing.
The article begins with an implication that Whole Foods' entrance into the Detroit market is a forecast for an up and coming neighborhood. Okay, sounds like Detroit is really gaining steam.
Whole Foods doesn't cause gentrification. It seems that it just has a "riskier" expansion MO than the typical corporation (who never ever invest in up and coming areas). But does that part of Detroit meet Whole Food's criterion described above? Or did the company brush those standards aside in the face of $4m in public funding?
$4 million isn't going to induce a company to open a grocery store that in a location that can't support it. It will tip them off the fence if they were already seriously considering it, but it won't get from from "no way" to on the fence, let alone from "no way" to "yes."
Detroit certainly has kernels of success and growth among the large swaths of decline and decay.
Here in Chicago Whole Foods seems to have come in two waves. First, in neighborhoods that are stable, relatively affluent, and primed to explode in popularity. We had the River North store and the West Lakeview and the original west Lincoln Park stores representing that stage. Then there are Whole Foods that were added to supplement demand after an area exploded, two examples of which are the East Lakeview store, and the brand new third-biggest-in-the-world store that replaced the original west Lincoln Park store. The South Loop store is sort of in the middle - added after the area started to take off, but in an edge of where the development hadn't really reached full steam.