Posted on May 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Saturday, May 3 at 12:02 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A major development is planned for Charlotte’s South End, and the battle lines are being drawn for neighbors’ dollars.
The plans call for a new grocery store, directly down the street from a rival grocery store.
It’s not exactly the “grocery store wars” just yet, but some neighbors are already concerned.
This is a wide open, underserved part of town, compared to other similar pockets of Charlotte.
The need exists, especially with the light rail and growing housing boom in the neighborhood, but some residents worry the two options they’re seeing could mean South End is on a path to too much of the same thing.
The renderings are impressive. Open air, rooftop eating, with hundred of shops and apartments, all centered on a modern Harris Teeter.
Marsh Properties hopes the South End community, and city council, approve its vision to create this $190 million project.
The Sedgefield Shopping Center, anchored for the past decade by Healthy Home Market, will have to be torn down.
Marsh informed the locally owned health food store it was not going to renew its lease, in favor of a bigger name and regional brand grocery store.
Not everyone in South End is thrilled about that.
“We have grocery stores like that all over charlotte. How many health food stores do we have in charlotte?” neighbor Annette Williams asked.
The Harris Teeter announcement caught a lot of attention because the South Boulevard site is less than a half-mile from the site of the new, rival grocer Publix, set to open later this year.
“It seems redundant, for sure. Seems that they would want some more diversity. Hopefully that will just inspire Atherton Mill and Market to expand its offering,” Hannah Lehman, who works in South End, told NBC Charlotte.
Moira Quinn with Charlotte Centre City Partners says this plan is simply giving the growing number of people living in the surrounding area exactly what they want.
“They’re saying we want grocery stores. We’re really thrilled to see them coming to that area. it’s one of the things that makes a neighborhood a neighborhood. You need to have places to shop,” she said.
She adds even though Publix and Harris Teeter are similar, there’s no chance of oversaturation right now.
“I don’t know if it’s a grocery store war. It’s certainly good news for people in that area, that they have a choice.”
Not everyone is sold just yet.