Urban Residents Must Do Without Modern Supermarket Amenities

By National Center for Public Policy Research | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

(Editor's Note: The following is the 94th of 100 stories regarding government regulation from the book Shattered Dreams, written by the National Center for Public Policy Research. CNSNews.com will publish an additional story each day.)

A grocery store's alleged historic value is preventing the store's owners from serving their customers to the best of its ability.

Giant Food, a grocery store chain concentrated around the Washington, D.C., area, sought to expand one of its stores in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., from 12,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet. Planned additions included a deli, pharmacy and bakery. The expanded size and additions would allow this particular Giant location to offer more amenities and help it compete with larger suburban grocery stores. Preservation activists claim that this Giant store is historic simply because it was the first area grocery store to anchor a shopping plaza.

Groups citing the building's alleged historic value have forced Giant to engage in a three-year battle over renovation plans. Giant's Vice President for Marketing Barry Scher remarked to the Washington Post that, "this building is about as historic as my two-year-old grandson." Local residents also rallied behind Giant and its plans to expand the store.

Fortunately, the three-year battle to stop Giant's renovation plans was resolved when a compromise was reached between activists and Giant officials. Giant was prevented from implementing all of its planned renovations but was able to install a pharmacy so local residents are able to enjoy some of the benefits of a 21st century supermarket. If they want all the supermarket amenities enjoyed by suburban residents, however, they still have to drive.

Source: The Washington Post

Copyright 2003, National Center for Public Policy Research

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