May 15, 2014

News In The Food Desert

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.


Publius said...

Another perspective on the Market's opening.

Anonymous said...

Was any government funding involved in luring the urban food store from New Jersey?

Dreaming of Justice said...

Welcome news, indeed!

There is room for more than one market in Allentown. At about 118,000 residents and growing, a similar sized city in Maryland (Columbia, between Washington DC and Baltimore) had nine groceries in 2001. Groceries are a resource for enhanced child and infant health and can help ensure elderly and differently-abled residents have better access to proper nutrition. A city must be livable to attract productive growth and offer incentives to young educated people to relocate here.


michael molovinsky said...

publius@6:10, glad we're on the same page on this issue. i would like to remind you and others that blogspot requires using the html code for links to appear in the comments.

anon@6:34, several readers were upset that in the previous post it was suggested that a supermarket be induced into the NIZ with incentives. I remind you that implementing the approved community benefit training program will use taxdollars for much less concrete ends. the foodstore chain purchased the 7th street building under it's own volition. the facade and development program on 7th street does use public grants, but it's my understanding that no one property has received more than $45k in benefit.

Anonymous said...

If the new downtown market is another C-Town Market like the one on Third Street in South Bethlehem, it will be a nice addition to the city.

I use the C-Town in Bethlehem sometimes. I am impressed how well-managed it seems to be. It's bright and clean, well-stocked, etc. They even offer independent contractor space for hot food items, a bakery, and a fishmonger. It's a full-scale market that offers almost everything one could need.

Fred Windish