How many Pipeline People have ever shopped at a Trader Joe’s? Jane and I are pretty big fans, but the three Twin Cities TJ’s are all waaaay out in the suburbs and not convenient to get to. Now, there’s a plan to build a Trader Joe’s, oh, about a block from our house. It’s not official yet, but it seems to be moving through the process towards final approval.
We are firmly in favor of the proposal. Hell yes, I’d like to be able to literally walk to Trader Joe’s any time I want. And I mean real walking distance, not three blocks, which looks good on paper but ends up being a walk you don’t take nearly as often as you thought you would.
There is local opposition to the project, citing traffic concerns, but we already live near a pretty busy intersection. If anything, some of the infrastructure improvements they would make as a part of the project would help the situation, even if there were more cars overall.
And, the intersection where TJ’s would stand is currently pretty much urban blight, some of the only urban blight in our part of town. For a project that uses no government funds, that would contribute jobs and tax revenue to the city, that would keep many St. Paul shoppers from traveling out to the burbs and keep them here in town, what’s the downside? I don’t see it.
Frankly, I wonder how many of the people who are against the project would change their view if they had shopped Trader Joe’s and knew what it was like. That’s not to say that there can’t be some legitimate reasons for people to oppose the project. Some people may prefer looking at blight as opposed to a parking lot. I get that, to a point. But there’s no question our own support is not about generic development, but rather this specific development. I wouldn’t support a supermarket, or some fast-food joint. (Well, a Chipotle wouldn’t be all bad.) But Trader Joe’s kicks ass. And we want one.
The only problem for us is that we were pretty much set on moving in the next year or two. Is the convenience of a store like Trader Joe’s worth staying for, even if it means adding on to our house? We don’t have any idea.
Throw in that Chipotle and I’ll have the plans drawn up tomorrow.