In a recent guest post, public health consultant K Mary Hess pointed out that despite the arena, the NIZ was a food desert by official government standards. Although nothing has changed with that situation in the NIZ, big news is occurring out in the 600 block of 7th Street. The mammoth former Rite-Aid building has been purchased by an urban food store chain from New Jersey. When it rains it pours. Those familiar with the area know that the Little Apple Market is across the parking lot. Informed sources on the street believe that some partnering might occur between the two food companies, freeing up the original Sears and Roebuck department store for other uses. At any rate, work has begun on the building, and busier days are ahead for the merchants and residents in that section of 7th Street.
On the former post, one reader even suggested that the residents of center city take a bus to suburbia to do their shopping. Although those people living in north Allentown will be well served by competing or merging food markets at 7th and Allen Streets, it's a long walk to Linden or Walnut Street, to be carrying groceries. As stated before, a supermarket in that area would be a true community benefit.
photo of N 7th Street between Hamilton and Linden in the late 1940's or early 50's.