Originally Posted by jaga185
I can see the naysayers point, this mentality got us the Alamodome... that was a success. But I feel this is different. It's the type of backwards mentality this city has, instead of building something when the market is there, it would be more of a way to entice people to come in and sadly that might work.
I say a flagship Central Market would be great downtown, sure it would lose money at first. But if you make it amazing, people will come from around the city to shop there. Hell, every time I go to A-town I stop at the Whole Foods in downtown because it's amazing! That location for a new building is perfect. Use the money the article talks about to build a parking garage for the project and literally beg them to build there with tax subsidy or something. It's time we think a little more long term rather than now.
I think you should step back and really think about what you are saying.
- The Alamodome has hosted events, but it was built to attract an NFL team. It has not done that and it will not do that.
- Grocery stores never build in areas that do not have a large number of residents to support it. They have very low margins and need lots of volume to stay in business.
- San Antonio only has one Central Market and that location is near downtown. Why would they open their second that close to the first?
- The Whole Foods store in Austin actually moved from across the street. They had already established themselves as a grocery store in that area. The neighborhoods off North Lamar and MoPac and near UT have the income and numbers to support that store (This was prior to the condo boom). Just a few miles north is Austin's first Central Market. That dynamic does not exist in downtown San Antonio. From what I've read, people want a store with HEB Plus prices.
It's not backwards mentality; it's practicality. Subsidizing a grocery store is the last thing the city needs to do. They can improve infrastructure, put practical planning in place, have high standards for downtown development, make it difficult for properties owners who do not maintain properties, etc. There is a role that the city can play in bringing downtown back, but they should not be in the grocery business (just like they should not be in the hotel or condo business).
Maybe downtown residents would use a grocery delivery service? Would they pay for it?