From this week's Downtown News
Trader Joe's in the Market?
A daylong event aimed at spurring investment in Downtown brought out nearly 100 venture capitalists, bankers, mortgage brokers and financiers to tour the area's new developments. One attendee in particular, however, had tongues wagging - a representative from Trader Joe's market. Carol Schatz, president and chief executive of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District and Central City Association, which organized the third annual event, said although the grocer made no commitments, its presence was nonetheless a victory. "They are checking us out and that's just fine." For years, Downtown leaders have lobbied the popular chain to open a location in the Central City to cater to the growing residential populace. The rule of thumb for grocery stores to open a new location tends to be the presence of at least 15,000 residential customers. While Downtown has nearly twice that, enough to support two stores, Trader Joe's has refused to consider the notion. Until now. "They were pretty impressed with what they saw," said Schatz.