Tuesday, December 27, 2005

which is worse: walgreens or domniatrixes?

even if you've never been anywhere near indianapolis, you're still likely to have heard about atlas supermarket, a local landmark at 54th st and college ave. david letterman worked there as a bagboy in his youth and played that up heavily on his show. atlas was closed a couple years back. one version of the story involves a dispute with the butcher's union. another version simply says that the owners were old and ready to retire.

marsh bought the property and promised that it would build an arthur's market at the location of the popular grocer. but that arthur's market has never come. someone even installed an ugly chain-link fence around the property, but that eventually came down, presumably because of local uproar.

now marsh has finally admitted that it is looking into selling the property. there is a brief blurb about it in the indy star but i would rather discuss a piece from the indiana business journal. i can't actually find the article on the ibj website as it's not very friendly to free browsing. however, user flinchbot has posted it to the off-topic forum at IMN (again, paid membership required to view the thread, so no link):

Tom McGowan, Kite's chief operating officer, told the neighborhood representatives that they plan to put two structures on the property: one for Walgreen's and one for two additional commercial tenants.

According to Jim Garrettson, president of the neighborhood association, McGowan said the property comes with a steep price tag.

While details are unknown, a retail real estate broker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the sale price is likely around $2 million.

Walgreen's is one of the few tenants that can afford a lease at the site, McGowan told Garrettson.

Garrettson and other members of the neighborhood association are furious. They had hoped for a market similar to the former Atlas, which was locally owned and stocked a wide variety of fresh products.

"Given the fact that we couldn't get the dominatrix to move her house there, I can't think of anything worse than a Walgreen's, with the possible exception of that," Garrettson said, referring to a recent news story about a sex industry worker with a home in the area.

ooh, check out the cheap shot by MKNA'a jim garrettson. he gets in his little dig at miss ann, and the ibj happily obliges him by referring to her as a "sex industry worker". seems like jim has sex on the brain. maybe if he stopped by miss ann's house for a session he would loosen up a bit.

but despite all that, garrettson does have a point that the location is an odd choice for a walgreen's:

He's perplexed that Walgreen's would want to open a store at the location. It already has two locations less than two miles away--at 51st Street and Keystone Avenue and at 38th Street and College Avenue.

One real estate broker, speaking off the record, said Kite should expect a good fight from the neighborhood association.

"[The Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association] wants things that are unrealistic in terms of development standards," the broker said. "They seem to be contrarian to anything anybody wants to do."

i don't know what to make of the anonymous broker's comments; the broker likely has their own agenda and i might not agree with their actual view at all. but as far as MKNA being "unrealistic" and "contrarian", that does sound like the MKNA i know...


Anonymous said...

I think it is fundamentally wrong to tell people what they can do or not do with their property, even when I do not personally like what the property owner wants to do. As a Libertarian, I will always instead prefer to influence what I want in my community by supporting or not supporting it. I have to first defend Liberty of the individual, even if it means their freedom to do something I do not personally like. This is the foundation of tolerance.

There are far too many laws in this country and too many people attempting to bully and limit individual freedom based on what they want or deem moral. I believe that trend continued is a detriment to us all.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

First, as to Atlas: the meat cutters union story was a canard, although Eleanor Maurer's son, who had been brought in to help run the place, did try to tamper with a union election and very likely would have been fined. But the union, and their employees, were as cooperative as could be expected.

Marsh had been after the place for years, and their main interest was in eliminating a competitor. They used their current financial problems to excuse selling the property to Kite, but the fact remains that they did nothing with it beyond announcing it would become an Arthur's for three years.

And Miss Ann, you can think whatever you want "as a Libertarian", but the simple fact is that your property rights, like your right to throw a punch, end at other people's noses. 54th and College is a commercial zone surrounded by residences, and the people who live there have every right to object to a 24-hour operation that sells liquor every hour it's permitted to. Would you really have no objection to your neighbor starting an ore smelting business, or an all-night gas station, beneath your bedroom window?