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In regards to the grocery store at the old Empire Ford, my money is on Trader Joe's.


I agree in order for a downtown grocery store to survive it is going to need to bring something new to the table. Trader Joe's would fit the bill perfectly. Of course, I'd support the rocket market opening a new location downtown too :).


Nice looking building coming to Logan. I'm not sure if retail access is possible however at this location, considering that Hamilton has become the default North -South freeway and completly stunk up the entire Northside. Nevertheless promising events coming especially the Science Center. The design is key and needs to be stunning, to make a statement about the region and attract visitors as in economic development for the region. The benefit for kids and families is great. As for a downtown grocery, TJ's has extensive selection and really cheap prices. What's the holdup?


Yeah, what IS the hold up with Trader Joes? Usually when I demand a store open in a certain location, that store listens! Stores usually open up when and where people want them, not based on the business' reasearch.

If I ever run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, that proves that a gas station should have been located right there! It's just logical! ;)


I actually talked to the manager at the Lynnwood Trader Joe's last time I was in Seattle, and they are hoping to come out to Spokane within a few years.

I was told the problem right now is all their major distributers are in California, and it would add an extra day to get food--including perishables--out to Spokane, shortening store shelf life. Other stores obviously get food out here, so I'm not sure I follow the argument completely, but TJ's is supposedly going to work on getting more local distributers so they can get some stores east of the Cascades eventually.

In the meantime, I drag my TJ's cloth grocery bag with me to Rosseurs and Safeway and live in hope. :P


Todd - a little cranky today? What's wrong with wishing for the best?! I can understand the difficulty of getting product to the hinterland from TJ's suppliers. Maybe some of our local suppliers should approach them.

Andrew Waddilove

I'd like to see a Trader Joe's, or even a Whole Foods.
With the area now getting more of the national chains in recent years, I'm sure sooner or later we'll eventually get those too.
Hopefully in Downtown or nearby Kendall Yards.


I'd like to see a Trader Joe's, Costco, Dr office, gas station, movie theater, etc. all move into my neighborhood but where I can't see/notice them until I need to visit. A north/south & east/west freeway onramp near but not too near also please. C'mon world, revolve around me!! :P

I'm just joking but I can understand Jim, when I was a kid I wanted a Toys r Us to move in next to me too!

I would actually love a TJ to come into town, I just like to poke fun at people who may not understand that businesses, like people, have the right to decide what to spend their money on. I especially like when people say things like "TJ is so stupid, they could make so much money here!" -- as if they aren't trying to make money in the first place.

I also like the notion from Leio of an expanded Rocket Market.

Ben D.

I wish I had a nickel for everyone in Spokane who has "talked to some employee of Trader Joe's" somewhere, in some city, who assures them that they will get here in a few years and that it has something to do with shipping routes or lines of distribution, yada yada yada. This is 2008. We eat food from literally all over the world. I have a hard time believing that Trader Joe's couldn't open a store in the middle of Wyoming if they really wanted to.

I remember when few years ago (ok, like 10 years ago) everybody in Spokane was pining for an Old Navy clothing store. Then we got our Old Navy. Then we all moved on.

I agree with the poster above on this one. Yeah, it would be great if every interesting store from the big cities was also in Spokane. But let's face it: They're not. We're third tier here, folks. It's just a fact. Most people here don't even really support the "progressive" alternatives that we DO have.

Sorry for the rant. ;-)


The new mayor is appointing a "climate change task force"?

What might Her Honor imagine the city's role to be on that bandwagon? Or are there merely some federal bucks riding on it?

The headline, "$1.5 billion freeway questioned," is a bit misleading. The only questioners are the usual gang of granola munchers -- Bonnie Mager, et al. They've been questioning it since being bamboozled by Paul Ehrlich as college freshmen. And of course the light rail zealots, who'd rather spend the $1.5 billion on a system no one will use, just because it's "cool."


in regards to T.J.'s, what people don't seem to understand is that every business has a bottom line or a metrics model that must be met before they open up a new business. They could put a store anywhere they wanted too, but would that store be able to meet there bottom line with increased shipping/transportation costs? Would that store be able to meet the expected metrics? How would a store in Spokane, a market that is not a typical T.J.'s market do with increased costs and expenses. I think taking the approach of finding more local providers would help expedite the process of landing a store in Spokane, but still the deal needs to be right on every level. Spokane is not a good test market for a store like T.J.'s.


RE: TJ's...spoke with someone very familiar with their expansion policies/plans and it does boil down to distribution channels. The bottom line is they'll open one in Spokane when they can open one in Post Falls or CDA around the same time. Maybe two in Spokane at that. Until then like Ben said, get yer fix from the Rocket Bakery or Huckleberry's, or venture out and try some of our local specialty stores like Sonnenburgs, Cassano's or the Alpine Deli. You might be pleasantly surprised.

p.s. Contrarian, how was the rally for Senator Clinton? ;)


Can we add Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, along with "river" and "yards" monikers, to the list of forbidden words? And can we throw in multi-use while we're at it? There's no revelation in having the same conversation every time a building is vacated. Vacant buildings are an indicator of economic challenges rather than opportunities. The commercial vacancy rate in Spokane is high with existing building stock; it would be astronomical if we added back the sqaure footage of buildings lost to speculative demolition. KREM-2 did a story about Trader Joe's decision not to locate in Spokane during the last wave of Trader Joe's hysteria. If I remember correctly, the reason stated was that Trader Joe's scouts didn't find Spokane "aesthetically appealing," due in part, I'm sure, to the aforementioned demolition.

One of my strongest impressions of Spokane is the constant chorus about some Messianic retailer or developer who's going to deliver on a promise that was never made. I could set my watch by the topics; Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, science center, farmers market, Kendall Yards (the same project for twenty years prior was referred to as the Summit Property)... and I could go on. One failing of the planning mentality is that ideas replace facts. When discussing a project, it's experienced not only as built-out, but thriving at capacity. Despite the talk about Kendall Yards, today it's hard to find anything open after 6:00 and it looks like that may be the case for... years?

Don't get bent out of shape. I chose to move here and it's fine -- better than most residents realize. I just find the local approach to the future to be a little Calvinistic.


Wow the Trader Joes concept prooves that we do have a pulse around here. My point is not to have my favorite store next door, but to enhance our downtown with more vibrant businesses that create activity, bring people together while serving those living downtown. Maybe we're not quite there yet with enough population in the core. I imagine Kendall Yards will trigger more of this. I've seen Spokane go to sleep economically over the years.Downtown was dead, while tacky strip malls were built and went away. Remember University City Mall? It looks like Bagdad now. An active downtown is the soul of any community. Let's keep the energy going that seems to be happening in our town.


I'm a vegetarian with a taste for organic goods and I don't care if Trader Joes ever comes here. Years ago you had to shop at Hucks to get anything good but now every Safeway, Rosauers, and Yokes carries most of the organic/vegetarian products that used to be Hucks exclusives.

Trader Joes is a non-factor. If you really want to stroke your progressive ego join a local co-op like freshabundance.com and then brag about it to all your South Hill friends. If you just want to eat quality organic/vegetarian food there's plenty of other places to find it here already.


Your just too practical MK. I would just rather shop in a centrally located store with like minded folks in pleasant surroundings. The Trader Joes in Bellingham is like going to a fair! They also have a great local food coop there with very high quality goods. Of course there is a higher percentage of people in B'Ham who appreciate this and will pay the price. Looks like we are going to be mired with lingering strip malls on the fringes,vacant downtown buldings and lots for the immediate future around here. Doesn't everyone enjoy barbed wire lined auto lots on the landscape? By the way, I love Cassanno's Grocery - an authentic home grown Italian Market.

Bart Mihailovich

Contrarian, if you are interested in some of Mayor Verner's environmental views you can check out her comments in an interview that "Down To Earth" did with her last week - Go here - http://dte.spokesmanreview.com/?p=448


There are a lot of common sense things that can be done to reduce the waste that goes in our incinerator. How about a 50 cents tax on plastic bags at grocery stores, per plastic bag. Maybe then people would actually buy reusable bags.


Leio, why do we need to reduce the waste going to the incinerator? Is it hitting it's capacity?

It can't be pollution reduction, since the facility operates well within emission limits.

So why do you want to impose taxes to change people's preferences? Global warming hysteria?


Well, I will put aside trying to convince anyone that man made global warming is real. However, I would propose that even the skeptics can't argue the fact that it is a very real possibility. In which case, taking common sense measures to reduce our C02 emissions seems like a good idea to at least hedge our bets.

I would take issue with your definition of pollution. I wasn't aware that pollution doesn't exist as long as it is within statutory emissions limits. A quick look in the dictionary defines pollution as "the contamination of soil, water, or the atmosphere by the discharge of harmful substances." So I'd argue burning less garbage reduces pollution, not merely staying below statutory minimums.

Additionally, reducing plastic bags would reduce energy consumption through savings in manufacturing energy, and would decrease oil consumption (the raw material in plastic, obviously).

Grocery stores are already moving to promote reusable bags, since it saves them money (and theoretically the consumer through passed on savings, but I'm not holding my breath).

Just because people prefer to be wasteful, doesn't mean we should encourage them.


Leio --

Yes, I'm afraid I'm a global warming skeptic. We love our Armageddon myths. Now that the Cold War no longer scares us, we've cooked up global warming and terrorism to take its place. Remember the Y2K hysteria?

It's a complicated issue, of course, and this is probably not the forum for that discussion. I'll just say I don't doubt that the Earth has warmed somewhat over the last 2 centuries and may warm somewhat more. But the consequences of that appear to be, on the whole, beneficial, not detrimental (CO2 stimulates plant growth, and warmer temps mean less need for heating fuel, for example).

What I'm especially skeptical of is the ability of gummints, especially city gummint, to do anything useful about the "problem," if it is one. It can surely pontificate and throw money at it, of course.

As for pollution, I think my definition is standard. That is, if an emission has no adverse health consequences, it is not "pollution." Of course, most Greenies assume that anything humans introduce into the environment counts as "pollution." But they are proselytizing a religion, not doing science.

Gummint has no business either encouraging or discouraging energy consumption. People will adjust their energy usage and sources in response to price signals. There is no need for politicians to meddle in those processes.


I haven't been to the TJ's in Lynwood, but I have been to two in south Puget Sound (Burien and University Place). I find it interesting that they expressed concern about the aethetics of Spokane when they are locating in suburban strip malls next to Big Lots stores.

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