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COH discusses "Food Deserts"

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from Ellen Cohen newsletter

   

Food Deserts Targeted by Council

A distance prohibition on the sale of alcohol has acted as a partial barrier for large grocery stores to enter many Houston neighborhoods, resulting in 'food deserts,' across the city. To make affordable and healthy food easier to obtain, Council amended the ordinance that creates ‘alcohol-free zones’ surrounding churches and schools so that large grocery stores – stores that typically include beer and wine sections, which experts assert are necessary for these businesses to remain profitable – may locate in these zones. To ensure that affected neighborhoods remain protected from unwanted bars and liquor stores, only grocery stores that are over 10,000 square feet, for whom alcohol represents less than 25% of sales receipts, are applicable. In addition, stores that sell liquor or provide for on-premises consumption are expressly barred from participating. University of Houston researchers found that up to 26% of Harris County residents are afflicted by food deserts and that residents in low income areas with limited access to transportation are disproportionately affected.

 

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Unfortunately, I feel that it's a step that won't quite work. While it would help in situations like how when the Montrose H-E-B opened the beer/wine section had to be empty and roped off (due to a school nearby), large grocery stores (H-E-B, Kroger) just don't tend to locate in areas that are very low-income for whatever reason. Even Fiesta can't be found in these so-called "food deserts". The best thing going for these places is Aldi, which clears a major hurdle by having a relatively small footprint, and tends to survive in areas where other retail will not.

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Yeah, but it's a step in the right direction.  It is just silly to ban the sale of alcohol in supermarkets because of the proximity of schools or churches.  It may or may not help the issue of "food deserts," but there is still value in restraining ridiculous regulations.  

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Grocery stores like Aldi have a limited selection and are not the best choice for an urban "food desert".

Aldi's not the worst choice either. They've got a selection of items from every grocery store department except fresh meat and seafood, including fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Yeah, but it's a step in the right direction. It is just silly to ban the sale of alcohol in supermarkets because of the proximity of schools or churches. It may or may not help the issue of "food deserts," but there is still value in restraining ridiculous regulations.

Schools I can somewhat see because of the children, though it makes more sense to ban nearby bars rather than supermarkets. Churches should be on their own, though, since there are enough adults around to protect any children from errant drunks (I'm presuming here that's the reason for such a statute, not that the law is there so churchgoers don't have to see a beer can).

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Grocery stores like Aldi have a limited selection and are not the best choice for an urban "food desert".

 

Given that it has fresh produce and dry staples at discount prices as opposed to the junk at convenience stores, which is the main issue here, I'd say that Aldi would be a rather fitting choice.

 

Yeah, but it's a step in the right direction.  It is just silly to ban the sale of alcohol in supermarkets because of the proximity of schools or churches.  It may or may not help the issue of "food deserts," but there is still value in restraining ridiculous regulations.  

There is something to be said in terms of liquor sales near schools, and now is not the time to discuss it, but what happened at H-E-B Montrose Market was embarrassing, considering that said school was a block away, and even then facing the back of the store. It's Houston! Things are denser, and thus going to be closer to each other.

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It seems to me this notion of food deserts is quite silly. I don't understand why ppl cannot buy food.

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It seems to me this notion of food deserts is quite silly. I don't understand why ppl cannot buy food.

 

It's not that they can't buy any food, but that the selection nearby is primarily prepackaged and more expensive due to it being sold at the corner store instead of a larger grocery chain.  The theory is that folks that can't afford transport end up eating whatever's available within walking distance which can be less healthy and more expensive.  It's one of the fad theories on why the poor and less educated have higher obesity rates.

 

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It's not that they can't buy any food, but that the selection nearby is primarily prepackaged and more expensive due to it being sold at the corner store instead of a larger grocery chain. The theory is that folks that can't afford transport end up eating whatever's available within walking distance which can be less healthy and more expensive. It's one of the fad theories on why the poor and less educated have higher obesity rates.

Well duh?! Because they're poor and less educated.

On a more serious note. I agree it's a fad theory which leads me to question why it is even being entertained by people at large.

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Food deserts are certainly not a fad and IS something to be entertained.

If we want to beef up downtown we got to beef up the close in neighborhoods. We can't beef them up if it is inconvenient for people to live there.

As it currently is, the near north, 5th ward, downtown, east downtown, midtown, thirdward, Binz, TMC are all food deserts

We are trying to get people to live in those areas and use public transit. When you have to take a 30 min bus trip to get some eggs you might as well stay on 1960

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There is something to be said in terms of liquor sales near schools, and now is not the time to discuss it

 

Why the heck not?? It is the topic of this thread! It makes some sense not to have bars where people are drinking and then driving near schools, but not grocery stores, where people buy it and take it home. It's a ridiculous prohibition that probably dates back to just after Prohibition and needs to be done away with to give grocery chains incentive to build new grocery stores.

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Given that it has fresh produce and dry staples at discount prices as opposed to the junk at convenience stores, which is the main issue here, I'd say that Aldi would be a rather fitting choice.

 

There are no Aldis in Fifth Ward. None, zero. Aldis are not necessarily the solution for food deserts in Houston. All the Aldis I know of in the Houston area are in areas where there are already other grocery chains.

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Why the heck not?? It is the topic of this thread! It makes some sense not to have bars where people are drinking and then driving near schools, but not grocery stores, where people buy it and take it home. It's a ridiculous prohibition that probably dates back to just after Prohibition and needs to be done away with to give grocery chains incentive to build new grocery stores.

Actually, looking back at the original post, I remembered that I wanted to make a point of saying that over here in College Station, there is a large Methodist church (I believe it has a day school for children) just literally an alleyway across a bar (only open at night). It is in the densest part of College Station, but if CS can get away with it, why can't Houston?

Edited by IronTiger

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There are no Aldis in Fifth Ward. None, zero. Aldis are not necessarily the solution for food deserts in Houston. All the Aldis I know of in the Houston area are in areas where there are already other grocery chains.

Aldi, as I may have mentioned before, seems to be able to survive in areas where most other retail cannot sustain itself, therefore an Aldi seems like the best choice.

The second advantage is has is because it's small. If Fiesta (which admittedly opened that tiny 22k square foot in Conroe recently), H-E-B, or Kroger wanted to open a full-sized store, they would have to condemn nearly an entire block to build (if not close off a street), which will attract NIMBYs in the neighborhood like nothing else, either to protest the additional light, noise, and traffic, or in fear that the neighborhood will gentrify and they'll be priced out.

I'd also be interesting to know WHERE people in these "food deserts" actually get food. You could say "it's X miles away from a real supermarket" but there are lots of people in rural areas in Texas that are in that same "X miles away" situation and they certainly don't get most of their food from the nearest convenience store.

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I'd also be interesting to know WHERE people in these "food deserts" actually get food. You could say "it's X miles away from a real supermarket" but there are lots of people in rural areas in Texas that are in that same "X miles away" situation and they certainly don't get most of their food from the nearest convenience store.

 

I've never heard a good answer to that question. Of course, it does break the whole "we must do something now" mantra.

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Aldi, as I may have mentioned before, seems to be able to survive in areas where most other retail cannot sustain itself, therefore an Aldi seems like the best choice.

The second advantage is has is because it's small. If Fiesta (which admittedly opened that tiny 22k square foot in Conroe recently), H-E-B, or Kroger wanted to open a full-sized store, they would have to condemn nearly an entire block to build (if not close off a street), which will attract NIMBYs in the neighborhood like nothing else, either to protest the additional light, noise, and traffic, or in fear that the neighborhood will gentrify and they'll be priced out.

I'd also be interesting to know WHERE people in these "food deserts" actually get food. You could say "it's X miles away from a real supermarket" but there are lots of people in rural areas in Texas that are in that same "X miles away" situation and they certainly don't get most of their food from the nearest convenience store.

 

Here in the Houston area, Aldi goes in to areas where retailers are already succeeding, so they don't seem interested in that model here.

 

To your second point, food deserts are one of the biggest concerns for people living in them, so no I don't agree that NIMBYs will oppose street closures, but even if they did there are plenty of large current unused plots of property in Fifth Ward that are plenty big for a large grocery store.

 

You didn't answer my question. Why is right now the wrong time to discuss liquor proximity restrictions for grocery stores when it is what is being discussed by City Council and the topic of this thread?

Edited by kylejack

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Here in the Houston area, Aldi goes in to areas where retailers are already succeeding, so they don't seem interested in that model here.

 

That doesn't necessarily rule out it.

 


To your second point, food deserts are one of the biggest concerns for people living in them, so no I don't agree that NIMBYs will oppose street closures, but even if they did there are plenty of large current unused plots of property in Fifth Ward that are plenty big for a large grocery store.

 

I'm looking at the old Fiesta lot at the Heights as a model, and it looks like it would take up an entire block. There isn't a useable block in the Fifth Ward area that wouldn't require demolitions.

 

You didn't answer my question. Why is right now the wrong time to discuss liquor proximity restrictions for grocery stores when it is what is being discussed by City Council and the topic of this thread?

 

I sort of did, though in a disjointed manner--part of my original post was left off, which I clarified later--it is stupid because Houston is a dense area where conflicts could happen just about anywhere. The comparison was College Station, which has bars next to churches, and it's smaller and more conservative than Houston is. Therefore, Houston should get with the program.

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That doesn't necessarily rule out it.

 

I never said that it did. I said: Aldis are not necessarily the solution for food deserts in Houston.

 

I'm looking at the old Fiesta lot at the Heights as a model, and it looks like it would take up an entire block. There isn't a useable block in the Fifth Ward area that wouldn't require demolitions.

Yes there is, but there's nothing wrong with demolitions either. HEB Montrose was built over demolished apartments. Walmart on Yale development was built over a demolished bar. The NIMBYs couldn't stop those and they won't stop a grocery chain either, especially if they choose a block where all the properties are already in disuse. There's a lot of that in the Fifth Ward.

I sort of did, though in a disjointed manner--part of my original post was left off, which I clarified later--it is stupid because Houston is a dense area where conflicts could happen just about anywhere. The comparison was College Station, which has bars next to churches, and it's smaller and more conservative than Houston is. Therefore, Houston should get with the program.

I'm really glad you agree with me and with the Mayor that we should do away with archaic rules about how far a grocery store with beer and wine can be from schools, etc. That is, in fact, the City's plan. I understand you don't think it will work, but that's fine. Every little bit helps, and it's a dumb rule anyway.

 

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Yes there is, but there's nothing wrong with demolitions either. HEB Montrose was built over demolished apartments. Walmart on Yale development was built over a demolished bar. The NIMBYs couldn't stop those and they won't stop a grocery chain either, especially if they choose a block where all the properties are already in disuse. There's a lot of that in the Fifth Ward.

 

NIMBYs are everywhere, and they don't necessarily always fail. After all, the East End held off 225 (and are holding UP the light rail expansion). As for liquor sales near schools, I didn't say it didn't work, I think it's a dumb rule because density makes these things harder to overcome, and College Station, a far less dense city and more conservative city, has a living example of a large church an alleyway's distance from a bar. Is there any example in Houston like this?

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NIMBYs are everywhere, and they don't necessarily always fail. After all, the East End held off 225 (and are holding UP the light rail expansion). As for liquor sales near schools, I didn't say it didn't work, I think it's a dumb rule because density makes these things harder to overcome, and College Station, a far less dense city and more conservative city, has a living example of a large church an alleyway's distance from a bar. Is there any example in Houston like this?

 

This is why it is important for the City of Houston to do away with archaic rules, and why I'm glad they have done so, so that more properties become viable as a place to locate a grocery store.

 

The NIMBYs failed at stopping light rail in the East End. They wanted an underpass, but gasoline in the soil scuttled the plan, so METRO will now be getting something more like what they originally wanted. In Houston and in most other parts of Texas, the developer is king and almost always gets most of what he wants.

Edited by kylejack

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This is why it is important for the City of Houston to do away with archaic rules, and why I'm glad they have done so, so that more properties become viable as a place to locate a grocery store.

 

The NIMBYs failed at stopping light rail in the East End. They wanted an underpass, but gasoline in the soil scuttled the plan, so METRO will now be getting something more like what they originally wanted. In Houston and in most other parts of Texas, the developer is king and almost always gets most of what he wants.

 

A final decision by Metro on the Harrisburg light rail "underpass vs. overpass" issue hasn't been made --  or at least publicly announced -- yet.

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From Stephan Costello enewsletterWith Pyburn's Opening, One Less Houston Food Desert

Council Member Costello & Mayor Parker Welcome Newest Pyburn's to South Union

Council Member Stephen Costello joined Mayor Annise Parker and Pyburn's owner John Vuong this morning to break ground on South Union's newest grocery store. Today's groundbreaking is the result of efforts to bring grocery stores into food deserts, neighborhoods where there is no access to a supermarket.

Houston has fewer supermarkets per capita than most major cities, presenting a significant public health issue. Typically in underserved communities, food deserts are a cause for concern because without access to fresh food, families are more likely to eat fatty, over-processed, and over-priced foods. Studies have shown areas that lack grocery stores tend to overlap areas with high cases of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes.

Almost five years ago, Council Member Costello attended a community meeting where he met a 75-year resident of Sunnyside who expressed her wish of having a grocery store in her neighborhood. Not quite knowing what a food desert was at the time, Costello drove twenty minutes along the main road as he headed home. Along the way, the council member saw numerous convenience stores and fast food restaurants, but not a single grocery store.

Since then, Council Member Costello has worked to increase food access in Houston's food deserts. He has met with grocery store operators, community advocates, and local stakeholders. The council member was involved with the Houston Grocery Access Task Force, organized by The Food Trust, a national advocacy group, and the Mayor's office. Costello is currently a member of Mayor Parker's Go Healthy Houston Task Force and has worked with several nutrition-focused organizations to promote awareness of food deserts.

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From Stephan Costello enewsletter

Council Member Stephen Costello joined Mayor Annise Parker and Pyburn's owner John Vuong this morning to break ground on South Union's newest grocery store. Today's groundbreaking is the result of efforts to bring grocery stores into food deserts, neighborhoods where there is no access to a supermarket.

Houston has fewer supermarkets per capita than most major cities, presenting a significant public health issue. Typically in underserved communities, food deserts are a cause for concern because without access to fresh food, families are more likely to eat fatty, over-processed, and over-priced foods. Studies have shown areas that lack grocery stores tend to overlap areas with high cases of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes.

Almost five years ago, Council Member Costello attended a community meeting where he met a 75-year resident of Sunnyside who expressed her wish of having a grocery store in her neighborhood. Not quite knowing what a food desert was at the time, Costello drove twenty minutes along the main road as he headed home. Along the way, the council member saw numerous convenience stores and fast food restaurants, but not a single grocery store.

Since then, Council Member Costello has worked to increase food access in Houston's food deserts. He has met with grocery store operators, community advocates, and local stakeholders. The council member was involved with the Houston Grocery Access Task Force, organized by The Food Trust, a national advocacy group, and the Mayor's office. Costello is currently a member of Mayor Parker's Go Healthy Houston Task Force and has worked with several nutrition-focused organizations to promote awareness of food deserts.

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Wonder if these discussions prompted this?

From Houston Tommorow August enewsletter

A new crowdfunding campaign is working to raise money to create a network of city-wide urban gardens planted on city-owned land that will help provide fresh produce to low-income local communities without access to produce-selling grocery stores, commonly known as food deserts. Many local restaurants committed to using locally grown produce in their food are also getting in on the idea, including Uchi, Oxheart, Underbelly, Sparrow, and Coltivare. More from Culture Map Houston:

Known as Planted: Houston, the effort aims to establish a citywide network of urban gardens on city-owned land. Led by Edible Earth Resources, a company that has designed food-producing gardens for restaurants like Coltivare as well as private individuals, Planted has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise at least $35,000 by the end of September to establish new gardens in low income neighborhoods.

“With Edible Earth we’ve doing food production systems in people’s yards. This will be a more commercial scale,” gardener Scott Snodgrass tells CultureMap. The $35,000 goal will allow Planted to cultivate approximately one acre. Every additional $35,000 raised will be put towards the next series of plots. Restaurants, who will be the projects primary customers, are offering rewards like a Bloody Mary brunch at Beaver’s for people who contribute $75 and dinner prepared by Adam Dorris of newly opened Pax Americana at the $275 level.

...

The City of Houston is supporting the project in order to further its goal of fighting food deserts. In exchange for being about to lease the land for $1 per year, Planted has agreed to donate 10 percent of all food grown to the neighborhood where the garden is. Additionally, Snodgrass says they plan to work with convenience stores in the area to sell produce to neighborhood residents at reduced rates. Area residents will also be able to work on the farms to earn produce.

“We want to give access to people to good food — not just people who can afford it at a farmers market,” Snodgrass adds.

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Any grocery store opening in a food desert will likely take on the added burden of paying for more security it seems.

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Any grocery store opening in a food desert will likely take on the added burden of paying for more security it seems.

 

Security seems to be lacking at grocery stores, even in what one would consider "good" areas of town. My vehicle was broken into in the parking lot behind Trader Joe's on Shepherd in the middle of a weekday afternoon. That shopping center (a Weingarten property) has no cameras and no security patrol, as I found out later.

 

On another occasion, I was shopping at Costco on Richmond and a woman managed to distract the staff and push a cart loaded with items past the cashiers and out the door without being stopped. Amazingly, I recognized her as a notorious shoplifter who had been arrested at the Galleria Lord &Taylor store when I worked there.

 

And let's not forget the petty theft incidents I've seen at Disco Kroger on Montrose. One of the funniest was the woman who opened a package of Oreo cookies, stuffed her mouth full of them like a squirrel, and then hid the damaged package behind others on the shelf. This may not sound like much of a misdemeanor, but shrinkage adds up and grocery prices go up.

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Any grocery store opening in a food desert will likely take on the added burden of paying for more security it seems.

I don't know, I remember that the Bryan H-E-B, even though it wasn't in a particularly ratty area had one of the highest rates of shrinkage in the chain (which could partially be spoiled food, that calculates in), and they had to basically invent a new way to prevent shoplifting against the main company policy.

Regarding food deserts, I've written a blog post about it entitled "A Manufactured Crisis Regarding Manufactured Foods" (if you want to comment/disagree on it, do it there, not here, please).

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Heard the Mayor speak at the Info meeting concerning 2222 Cleburne senior housing proposal-- She mentions that COH is still exploring trying to bring a grocery store to the third ward. No other details but maybe there is a bit of hope?

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from Costello's enewsletter

Pyburns Bringing Fresh Food & New Jobs to Food Desert
Made possible through Public-Private Partnership

Last week, one Houston food desert was eliminated.  The opening of Pyburns Farm Fresh Foods in South Union marks the exciting culmination of efforts by the city of Houston, the Houston Housing Finance Corporation, and John Vuong, independent grocery store operator and Pyburns owner.

  

Council Member Costello first met John Vuong and his family several years ago while participating as a member of the Grocery Access Task Force.  Soon after this meeting, Costello was contacted by representatives from Vuong's food distributor, Grocer's Supply.  Knowing of the council member's interest in increasing food access in underserved areas of Houston, the distributor's representatives reached out to let him know Vuong shared the same goal.  In fact, Vuong had been operating independent grocery stores in some of Houston's most distressed neighborhoods for years. 

  
Fast forward to today.  Construction is complete, employees have been hired and residents are filling their carts with fresh meats, fruits and vegetables.  In coming months, a pharmacy will be added.

How did all of this happen? In order to make the economics work for a new store, Vuong needed a financial  incentive from the city. At the time, the city had no program in place to assist grocers willing to invest in food deserts. Seeing this void, Costello worked together with city officials and staff from the Houston Housing Finance Corporation to create and establish such a program.  Grocers may now apply for a portion of the city's federal economic development grant dollars to assist with start-up costs associated with constructing or remodeling grocery stores in high-need areas. Vuong received a $1.7 million performance-based loan through this program. Strict performance measures related to job creation, shopping experience and availability of healthy food are in place in the city's agreement with Vuong.

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from Costello's enewsletter

Pyburns Bringing Fresh Food & New Jobs to Food Desert

Made possible through Public-Private Partnership

Last week, one Houston food desert was eliminated.  The opening of Pyburns Farm Fresh Foods in South Union marks the exciting culmination of efforts by the city of Houston, the Houston Housing Finance Corporation, and John Vuong, independent grocery store operator and Pyburns owner.

  

Council Member Costello first met John Vuong and his family several years ago while participating as a member of the Grocery Access Task Force.  Soon after this meeting, Costello was contacted by representatives from Vuong's food distributor, Grocer's Supply.  Knowing of the council member's interest in increasing food access in underserved areas of Houston, the distributor's representatives reached out to let him know Vuong shared the same goal.  In fact, Vuong had been operating independent grocery stores in some of Houston's most distressed neighborhoods for years. 

  

Fast forward to today.  Construction is complete, employees have been hired and residents are filling their carts with fresh meats, fruits and vegetables.  In coming months, a pharmacy will be added.

How did all of this happen? In order to make the economics work for a new store, Vuong needed a financial  incentive from the city. At the time, the city had no program in place to assist grocers willing to invest in food deserts. Seeing this void, Costello worked together with city officials and staff from the Houston Housing Finance Corporation to create and establish such a program.  Grocers may now apply for a portion of the city's federal economic development grant dollars to assist with start-up costs associated with constructing or remodeling grocery stores in high-need areas. Vuong received a $1.7 million performance-based loan through this program. Strict performance measures related to job creation, shopping experience and availability of healthy food are in place in the city's agreement with Vuong.

Since I still hold the theory that "food deserts" are largely a manufactured crisis, I look forward to seeing how the addition of this new store actually tests that theory.

The first one is if obesity levels will drop. "Real" grocery stores carry more healthful options, but they also carry the quick-n-easy frozen stuff that convenience stores sell (at a lower cost, too, generally).

The second one is what the shrinkage level will be. Shrink isn't just through shoplifting, it is also what they won't sell. Stores can combat the latter through downscaling their merchandise mix, but margins are thin and if they can't sell enough items, they go out of business (that's bad) or raise prices (essentially becoming bigger convenience stores). Testing this will prove (or disprove) why real supermarkets tend to stay out of areas where "food deserts" are.

I look forward to seeing the results of this experiment.

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I still believe that food deserts are a "manufactured crisis" but I'm also wondering if it's a way for backdoor gentrification. Let's say there's a poor neighborhood that the city wants to redevelop into a viable area but obviously can't go in with the bulldozers or wait it out among urban yuppies. So, the city (or at least the city council members in cahoots with a developer) promotes it as a "food desert" and offers tax incentives for a real supermarket to come in. They coax in, say, H-E-B, even though this isn't strictly Houston we're talking about. The city greenlights demolition of several homes and old businesses, probably closing a street or public alley as well to fit in. Land values go up around the new supermarket (likely it has other shops and a fuel center), and within a few years, the old houses are being torn down for new townhomes. As demographics change, people move out, and the neighborhood is transformed, developers and their associated city council members enjoy cocktails and have a good laugh over their good-publicity campaigning of "reducing obesity".

This is all dramatized and probably not exactly the case, but I do remember reading about how some neighborhood activists tried to halt a Trader Joe's from coming in to a "food desert" (probably because they foresaw some backdoor gentrification coming in), so maybe it's not all THAT unreal. Thoughts?

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I think about this a lot more now that one of my kids moved into a 'gentrifying' area in third ward. Have you driven Dowling from I45 south? All those Townhomes and where do they grocery shop? Or go for fast food or CVS? There are not even many gas stations really. That new restaurant close to Anita street? COH immediately tore up the street so no one can approach-- how will that business succeed?

All those people pulled toward that new park and community pool at Elgin and Dowling but nowhere to "treat the kids" to refreshments? It's not even a question of tearing down old buildings--  most of the old buildings are gone. 

Going further down Dowling and no grocery, no drugstores, no fast food.............but more and more of the original houses torn down and more multi family put in its place. Lots more people but really having to drive further.

what ever it is that hasn't tempted grocery or fast food to the Dowling corridor might not be the "food desert" COH likes to talk about but I wonder  really wonder about all that new construction for town homes but nothing else?

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As someone that lives near Emancipation Park I usually go shopping at HEB on Alabama or Disco Kroger.   It's really not that bad to make the drive over to either of these grocery stores.  There is a food Co-op on the corner of Elgin and Dowling that I've bought stuff from on occasion. Although I've found it easier to swing by the other grocery stores on my way home.  I don't do fast food so I can't speak on that one but I go to the CVS on Elgin.  As for treating your kids not really sure what kind of establishment qualifies for that.  Cream burger near UH has snow cones and I've been there with my gf and her daughter.

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From that chron.com article "A couple of weeks ago, the students placed yard signs with renderings on the sites where their developments were proposed. Instead of "Land Available," the signs read "Custom Ideas Available."

 

I've been away from Houston for a few weeks, but would be interested if anyone wanted to post pictures of 'Custom Ideas Avaiable'

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On 5/17/2016 at 3:24 PM, trymahjong said:

From that chron.com article "A couple of weeks ago, the students placed yard signs with renderings on the sites where their developments were proposed. Instead of "Land Available," the signs read "Custom Ideas Available."

 

I've been away from Houston for a few weeks, but would be interested if anyone wanted to post pictures of 'Custom Ideas Avaiable'

 

Not really sure what you mean by this.  The pictures in this article were posted in the Third Ward around Dowling St.  I saw some from their previous project in but haven't seen these.

idea 2.jpg

idea1.jpg

idea3.jpg

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Thanks for posting

 

I guess from the article, I was hoping that the students had actually gone to vacant lots up and down Dowling and placed posters of their ideas. It would have been a great way to get information to a bigger audience. 

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One mile radius of Inner Loop grocery stores: Randalls, HEB, Kroger, Central Market, Whole Foods(included Pearl Midtown) Walmart Supercenter, Fiesta, Trader Joes, Phoenicia, Aldi  Google Map

AVi1ISx.jpg

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The new HEB should help, but there's still a couple of places that are deserty

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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2019 at 9:50 AM, cspwal said:

The new HEB should help, but there's still a couple of places that are deserty

 

Added it:

 

vlPtm9b.png

 

Also, I'm in complete awe at the lack of grocery stores in the Denver Harbor/Kashmere Gardens area. 

 

You know what there are a lot of up there 😕

 

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Edited by wilcal
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The grocery store on cambridge really was covering for a bunch of places that won't have a store within 1 mi, even after the new HEB opens.  There's a bunch of places that for sure need something to plop down right in the middle of those gaps

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