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The Overton Square Guessing Game

There’s been a lot of speculation about which grocery store will come to Overton Square. One of the concerns last time when the project tanked was that the grocery store was going to be low-end.

While Bob Loeb couldn’t reveal the name at Tuesday’s forum, he did insinuate that it was upscale.

“I don’t think there’s been a grocery sale at a higher land cost than this one would be at in order to make the numbers work,” he said. “You can’t build a mid-grade grocery store on premium-grade land, the economics don’t work.”

Since the project’s overall idea is to keep the area pedestrian and neighborhood friendly, a proposed traffic light at Madison and Florence Street will help slow down traffic. And the current street curve at Madison and Cooper Street will be taken out and made into a more symmetrical, four-way intersection, connecting as much streetscape as possible.

There’s even talk about creating bicycle racks and other gathering spots.

That being said, let’s take a look at some websites of potential high-end grocers.

On the “Neighborhood Involvement” section of Trader Joe’s website, the company spells out its commitment to the community.

“We think getting to know the organizations that are important to our communities makes us better neighbors. That’s why we handle all requests for donations and involvement in community events in our stores. Whether it’s a silent auction to benefit a local elementary school or a health fair sponsored by a community hospital, your neighborhood Trader Joe’s is the place to go.”

And then there’s Earth Fare, which has its own “Family Dinner Night” page, where it promotes how kids eat free on Thursdays in efforts to provide families, “with affordable healthy alternatives to their conventional staples.”

Whole Foods Market also has literature on its site, saying it gives a minimum of 5 percent of its annual profits to community and non-profit organizations.

Only time will tell which tenant it will be, but one thing’s for sure, Midtown’s ready to get its square back.

Dansette

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