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Newport News is getting our grocery store

A piece in the RTD this AM tells the story of Jim Scanlon’s inaugural Jim’s Local Market, set to open in Newport News in May. He was supposed to have come here first, at the empty block at the traffic circle at 25th and Nine Mile and Fairmount.

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RRHA has been acquiring lots and clearing structures (also) from the 1300 blocks of 24th and 25th Streets and the adjacent block along Nine Mile since at least 2006.

At a 7th District meeting back in late 2006, a grocery store at 25th and Nine Mile was promised for the near future (“more towards 2 years than 5 or 10”). Mayor Jones reiterated the notion back in 2012.

From 2014:

In 2015, he hopes to break ground on Jim’s Local Market in Richmond’s East End, less than a mile from the bulk of Richmond’s public housing units. His store will leverage his expertise and relationships in the grocery industry to provide the same variety, quality, and prices of national chains, something small independents are not typically able to do.

Folks in the know have been hinting at this market and telling me that we’ll have something to announce “in two weeks” for the past 8 months. It’s been 10 years since this was first mentioned. I’m still waiting.

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urbngrilla 03/28/2016 at 11:37 AM

Jim’s quote “I wish we could expedite it faster in Richmond.” speaks volumes.

ray 03/28/2016 at 11:53 AM

Key line in the article:

“But he couldn’t get enough support for his plans locally. He did get support from Newport News city officials to build a store there — and thus why that store will be his first.”

So why is it that the local elected officials in Newport News can get their shit together but the Dwight Jones and Cynthia Newbilles here in Richmond can’t?

Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2016 at 12:14 PM

As I mentioned elsewhere about Newbille (others can comment on Jones)… they are NOT focused on our community. They are simply calling in on their job. Poor representation for our historic neighborhood and its future. If you recall when Newbille was “elected” that she did not even live in Church Hill but then rented a house in the newer section built in the 1980s but don’t believe she ever moved in – because she needed a local address. Goes to show her interest in Church Hill is only collecting a paycheck.

DA 03/28/2016 at 12:24 PM

It’s not Newbille dragging ass here, it’s RRHA and Bon Secours

Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2016 at 12:42 PM

@5 DA… she needed to be involved and should have rallied to make sure it happened working with RRHA and Bon Secours.

Also the community needs to attend the meetings and voice their opinions if they are truly passionate about the project and not think someone else will do it for them because they are too busy or tired to attend. That is how things happen NOT to the liking of the community. There is support in numbers.

ray 03/28/2016 at 1:05 PM

It’s the job of the elected officials to push and get things done, especially when government entities like the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRDA) and so-called non-profit corporate entities like Bon Secours — which Newbille has worked for during her Council tenure – are involved.

Geez, enough excuses already!

John M 03/28/2016 at 1:33 PM

There are pieces to this that I don’t know solidly enough to include in the post above, but I feel like I can share here for clarification (given the fuzziness of it all):

My take is that our elected officials desperately want this to happen. If you stand with Newbille and Jones, this fits their fight on poverty & her push for community development. If you’re a cynic, you’ll still have recognize that they’d love the good press about right now.

T.K.Somanath (formerly of Better Housing Coalition) is heading RRHA. I believe that they want this to happen.

I keep hearing over and over again, from many directions, that Bon Secours is the hold up in the process. One of those things where nobody of name is going to own that, and who do I call at BS for some explanation? There are land transfers that need to be made, that are dragging on, perhaps? (Not sure how BS got the land’s been slated for a grocery store…)

If anybody close to the process wants to take advantage of the anonymous commenting system here, now would be a great time.

Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2016 at 2:20 PM

According to your map pin, the location of the store would be on property owned by RRHA (25th and Fairmount). Property across the street in the triangle piece that runs up Nine Mile is BS property so, how does BS fit into this scenario anyway?

urbngrilla 03/28/2016 at 2:29 PM

Don’t lay all the blame at the feet BonSecours. The City/EDA are enablers. The Richmond Economic Development Authority has a maze of deals with BonSecours (re: Redskins Training Center and Westhampton School) that are still evolving behind closed doors. Those deals are tied to BonSecours’ various East End development projects, including the possible grocery store.

crd 03/28/2016 at 2:44 PM

Apparently Newport News gave some money at least for the planning stages. “Jim’s Local Market will go in the Brooks Crossing development along lower Jefferson Avenue, between 33rd and 32nd streets.The city’s Industrial/Economic Development Authority will pay up to $630,000 for the design and other pre-construction work.The store is scheduled to open early next year.” That is a quote from this article:

John M 03/28/2016 at 3:59 PM

@Eric – there is a parcel across 26th Street right there that is under “Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital Inc C/o Richard Benta”. Transferred to them from RRHA in 2014, supposed to have been transferred back to RRHA a good while back is my understanding.

Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2016 at 4:11 PM

@12 John… I am still confused since the market is supposed to fall between 24th and 25th but you are talking about property across the street between 25th and 26th. What does property across the street has to do with Jim’s Market being built?

John M 03/28/2016 at 4:42 PM

Eric – my understanding is that parcel is to be included in the development, probably by closing that block of 26th

Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2016 at 4:55 PM

John – I will look into it further but also, wasn’t BS supposed to have developed a new medical office building (mob) on the block you are speaking of – talks back in 2013 or earlier?

I know last year you made a post about land transfer on 27th between BS and RRHA.

Eric S. Huffstutler 03/28/2016 at 5:25 PM

And to add, all of the property that falls in a triangle between Nine Mile, 25th, and T Street, seem to belong to BS. Land above T Street belong to various owners as does the other side of Nine Mile which intersects the 25th-26th block. Shows the Bremo address for BS as the owners.

Cadeho 03/28/2016 at 9:55 PM

Closing 26th street? I doubt that would happen. It leads to Peter Paul Blvd which people use between Nine Mile and Fairfield. The other routes through there are chopped up enough as it is…

John M 03/29/2016 at 7:00 AM

@cadeho – I meant 25th, my bad

25th St. Michael 03/30/2016 at 8:17 PM

Im surprised he didnt get ALOT more local support. Jim was a longtime Ukrops employee involved in finances and benefits. I remember speaking with him and his wife back during the Better Block 5k…well, maybe soon.


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