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Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 2:51 PM
New2Fishtown New2Fishtown is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by jsbrook View Post
5th and Spruce is fairly far to carry bags of groceries for people who live in the Northeastern parts of Old City. I guess they can use 2nd and Girard, but Old City really needs something like The Rittenhouse Market at 18th and Spruce in its heart.
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.
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