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Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 4:26 PM
Redddog Redddog is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 655
Originally Posted by New2Fishtown View Post
Yeah I should've said walkability specifically, not livability. From a groceries perspective, I think of that as living close enough to a store that can furnish you with the necessary ingredients to cook a meal, and/or a place where if you want to do all of your grocery shopping there, walking home with a few bags would not be an outrageous proposition for an able-bodied person. 99% of people would have no interest in walking from the Girard ACME back to an Old City residence, both for the sheer distance as well as how unpleasant the physical environment is for a solid stretch of that journey. The walk from 5th and Spruce is certainly more palatable, but that's besides my main point.

Old City strikes me as quite similar to Queen Village in its food access profile. The Heirloom going in at 2nd and South feels like a grand slam choice to me because you've got super high income people living within a few blocks in all directions, and yet those people have to either go to 5th and Spruce or 10th and South or the Italian Market or Delaware Ave to buy most mainstream grocery items. Why not meet them where they are? We're underserved enough and growing population enough that it's likely the existing markets would continue to thrive even as 2nd and South becomes the first choice for several thousand people. If I were the Heirloom site selection people, I'd see the same potential dynamic in Old City at a site like 2nd and Race: Sure folks can head up to Girard or down to Society Hill or order online or drive over the bridge to Wegman's, but it's likely that you'd immediately become the first go-to choice for many thousands of people if you brought them the convenience they've never had.

I guess we'll see if the market ends up agreeing with me or not. Despite all i've said, and despite my personal faith in these new smaller markets to do well, the grocery business is in such flux with Amazon and delivery meal prep programs that it isn't a guarantee that anything working now will work in a few years time. To out compete the internet, physical stores will need to provide something that you can't get digitally.
We live at 2nd and Arch and I can attest that if there was a full-service Grocery at 2nd and Race, our lives would be complete as Old Citiers. My wife walks to 5th and Spruce probably 5 times a week and while it's fine, it's about an hour round trip and the walk back can be a beyatch if you're loaded with groceries. We are big walkers so it's really not a problem. Just from a convenience perspective, an actual Old City Grocery would be pretty amazing.

Old City Market comes fairly close and serves quite well as an emergency option. They have an impressive amount of things in there that can get you by in a pinch. It's crazy expensive though. We also frequent RTM and are good for a Weggies run every other week. I've been hoping that Wegmans would just pull the lever already and build one on that wasteland between Callowhill and Spring Garden. I think with the proximity to Nolibs, Old City and the highway, that location would kill. I'm not holding my breath.
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