Friday, June 22, 2012

Whole Foods apt to pick old Herald site, JP history being written

Whole Foods JP
Image: Whole Foods JP Shopping Bag

In today's Boston Globe there's a story about Whole Foods looking to open another store in Boston, Grocer apt to pick old Herald site, Jenn Abelson brings up the store's opening in JP and gets the story wrong. She writes::
Whole Foods opened a smaller store in Jamaica Plain last year, a move that divided the neighborhood and sparked opposition from some residents who worried that the company’s arrival would mean gentrification and the eventual displacement of low- and moderate-income families.
The neighborhood was not divided. A small group of vocal people opposed the store.

Small group.

Very vocal.

It wasn't a civil war.

It was only a neighborhood divided in the eyes of the media, who always wants to write a story that has two sides to it.

In this case, the majority of the neighborhood was in favor of Whole Foods. It was the media who built it up to being a divided neighborhod.

This claim isn't true either. Whole Foods doesn't cause gentrification.

Opponents liked to throw the gentrification word around, but it's not accurate.

Sandra Story wrote about this in the Jamaica Plain Gazette, JP Observer: Has JP become gentrified?:
The white population seems to have been shifting between 50 and 53 percent over the past 10-15 years, with no major changes in racial/ethnic mix from the 2010 census count of the actual JP neighborhood at 53 percent white, 25 percent Latino, 13 percent black, 4 percent Asian and 2 percent multi or other.
I'm looking forward to reading an actual study about the effects of Whole Foods on JP.

One is being done.

Hub institute to study impact of Hi-Lo Foods closure, Whole Foods opening in Jamaica Plain

For me personally, Whole Foods in JP has been a big improvement. I can walk there to get fresh food. There haven't been any traffic problems. The sky hasn't fallen.

Plus, we're finally getting seating, so that it can become a true neighborhood gathering place. ;-)

I love it.

1 comment:

  1. Posting for Rich Parritz, who had an error posting this comment:

    The opposition was about 100 of 37,400, or .0027% ... and of course that is 99.74% in favor of Whole Foods AND the last 20 ish years of economic improvements to struggling Hyde Square.

    If that is divided, then the media only considers an absolute 100% to be a good community - huh?

    Also, rising property values AKA gentrification is in very many ways a good thing , of course. Gentrification simply means people are improving their homes, painting, remodeling, swapping out drafty windows and old oil furnaces for 'green' ECO friendlier high efficiency systems that reduce green house gas while saving $ and making America energy independent. At the same time all of the home improvements/ gentrification has put 1,000's of people to work, many of them area youths doing odd jobs cleaning up neighbor's yards. That's a bad idea? Youth jobs are to be demonized - huh? Millions of dollars going into wages and materials that translates into millions of $ in taxes from sales tax for the materials, and income taxes on the wages paid. Also bad idea? - huh?

    Gentrification brings with it opportunities for everyone, not the least of which is a reduction in crime. Silent are , of course, the 1,000's of Hispanic families who bought homes for $5 - $20,000 when JP , specifically Hyde Sq. was a drug den and a war zone. Those Hispanic families very happily cashed out for $100,000's and moved either back to a Hispanic country to retire in comfort and/or used that $ they made selling their JP house to educate the next generation .. and in some cases there was enough to educate their grandchildren and open businesses. Of course with those home sales came taxes, both state and federal. Bad idea ... no, politicians do not want more tax revenue? Huh?

    These families are 'silent' because they moved from here, but they have looked back and breathed a huge sigh of satisfaction for their good fortune at having reaped the benefits of the American dream - moving to JP with so very little 30 and 40 years ago, then by fixing up their homes , they realized an economic 'miracle' only available to them in the states and why immigrated here ... and why so many of their relatives want to immigrate here. Another bad thing - immigrants should not benefit from vastly improved property values - what America CAN they benefit from if not the America right here in JP?

    In addition of course , huge volumes of tax revenues come from gentrified areas - and we all know how much politicians love higher property values and the higher taxes they can then rake in. So while it is chic to oppose home improvements that raise property values and tax revenues as they create jobs and energy efficient homes AKA "gentrification", it is another wonderful example of how the fringe left is duped by the emotion, ego & paranoia of a few charismatic leaders who are unable to navigate and process scientific measurable facts.