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Trader Joe’s Opens

The Trader Joe’s at Holly Park Shopping Center is now open. Hark! People like William Needham Finley, IV need not venture Outside The Beltlin e to seek a better Trader Joe’s experience. The location of the store, near Costco, is a slam dunk for the company. Now if someone would put a really good butcher shop where Blockbuster was, we’d have an almost perfect neighborhood for food shopping

For those impressed by green companies and for those who hate unnecessary teardowns, this Trader Joe’s represents everything wrong with development in the modern era. The pedestrian unfriendly site was once host to Wake Paint and Wallpaper. In order to satisfy the signing of Trader Joe’s, the shopping center moved the paint store into one of the center’s original strips, into a space that was once a Winn-Dixie . So where is all of the whining about Trader Joe’s? They could have just taken the former grocery store space, and we wouldn’t have thrown away a perfectly good building, and wasted the energy and water it took to make the materials for this Trader Joe’s experience. Environmentalists and teardown critics need to be consistent if they are going to be taken seriously.

Just remember that when you clog the aisle to join your obnoxious geek friend in a loud conversation about how green you are when you’re shopping there (this happens a lot in the Cary store). Hopefully this location will offer a better experience. You “see the right people†at Costco, so surely Trader Joe’s will become the next ITB hotspot. My only question is whether or not the parking lot is designed adequately to handle the droves of Suburbans and Tahoes that will take over. ITB hotspots aren’t without their own challenges, but surely I’ll be more likely to utter this great Homer Simpson Halloween line in the Raleigh store than I could in Cary:

Urge to kill…fading…fading…fading — RISING! Fading…fading

map it

  • RaleighRob

    I understand your point on tear-downs, but seeing as most of today’s developers probably would’ve just torn the whole shopping center down and started from scratch, instead of renovating it, I guess this ain’t so bad. And perhaps the move benefited Wake Paint too in some way.
    Besides, when I think of the number of big box stores that come to this area and are located on the suburban fringe where a forest was just a few years ago, I am very excited to see one do infill instead.

    And I too wonder what the parking lot will bring…amazes me I see so many huge SUV’s in Cameron Village which wasn’t designed to handle them. Then the soccer moms driving them look all ticked-off about how difficult it is to park their gas-guzzlers…I just laugh at them from my sub-compact. 😉

  • Brian

    I just hope the interior is not as tightly packed as the Cary store. It’s a nightmare to ferry around an infant and a shopping cart with any speed on a weekend there. The parking lot has me worried, also.

  • Daria

    Funny observation about the new Trader Joes and the old grocery store spot. I personally don’t see what all the fuss is over Trader Joes, I went to the Cary store once and I wasn’t impressed by the selection or the quality of any of the food I bought there. All the produce looked wilted and pitiful.

  • Tom Woolf

    Sadly, in NC Trader Joes cannot carry the one product that I want – cut-price Macallan (or more properly, The Macallan).

    I’ve seen deals where the TJ labeled version is half price or less of true The Macallan. Granted, it is most likely overrun or failed QC stuff, but even that is better than most good Scotch.

    So – back to the good’ol ABC store…

  • JeffS

    I think I will continue to survive without Costco or Trader Joe’s. At least it’s on the bus line, though the hoardes of people driving in from the burbs to save a buck on some random extra won’t be riding them.

  • jason

    maybe i’ve missed something, but i’ve never been excited by trader joes.

  • John

    While I agree that there could have been more done from a green perspective on the re-development, I have to agree that redeveloping the entire Holly Park center is much more green and desirable than plowing forest on the edge of the city to create a new shopping center. On my last trip to Charlotte, I drove up South Blvd from Tyvola to downtown (oh..pardon me, uptown)and was amazed by how much crap I saw between these two desirable areas. The stretch of Wake Forest Rd could have easily become like that stretch of South Boulevard had it been allowed to just decay. Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
    It’s a very green thing to do to re-develop land where we already have city infrastructure in place instead of creating new infrastructure. So, while I agree that the glass isn’t full, I’d rather look at it as being half full instead of half empty.

  • sally

    You “see the right people†at Costco

    What on earth does this mean?!?!?

    Regarding the grocery store as being a “perfectly good building”, you don’t really know what condition it was in. I think that sometimes being green means making so many changes – to be energy efficient, for example – that it’s easier to start over than completely refit such an old building. The very fact that the grocery store was a Winn-Dixie shows how old it was!

    • http://www.danamccall.com Dana

      > You “see the right people†at Costco
      What on earth does this mean?!?!?

      Most old Raleigh people know what this means

      > you don’t really know what condition it was in

      Yes, I do. The building was fine.

      Please reread the article, because you may have missed some of the facts. The “old” Winn-Dixie building is still standing. The Paint store building was replaced by a Trader Joe’s that is not significantly more energy efficient or pedestrian friendly to offset the energy used in destroying the building and carting it to the landfill, plus the energy for the erection of a new building.

      According to the logic in your argument, all houses older than 1973 should be torn down for the sheer energy efficiency that the replacement house would have.

      It just goes to show that logic de jour still reigns supreme in the environmental movement.

      John, my point about Trader Joe’s going into a brand new building instead of a former grocery store space really has nothing to do with dying strip centers. They were going to overhaul this center long before Trader Joe’s came on the map.

  • sally

    > You “see the right people†at Costco
    What on earth does this mean?!?!?

    Most old Raleigh people know what this means

    I am. And I don’t. Please enlighten me.

  • sally

    (Is this blog only for “old Raleigh” folk?)

  • Kevin

    Sheesh, let me help with the “see the right people” phrase.. It’s a reference to the target demographic of the store, without applying any connotation to it. Trader Joe’s and Costco share the same demographic. If the nearby Costco is frequented by the ITB Tahoe driving crowd, then it’s safe to say you will see the same crowd at Trader Joe’s.

    Ever notice those SUVs rarely carry more than one individual?

  • North_Raleigh_Guy

    I’ll save my outrage for real environmental issues.

    Green Building or claiming benefits to the environment through reuse or redevelopment often is nothing more than attemps at “green washing”.

    If a development truly wants to be pro-environment (whether redevelopment or new cosntruction) they should desing their site to treatstormwater runoff above and beyond what is required by local ordinances. A good standard would be to employ Low Impact Development (LID)in which the developed sitereplicates the pre-development hydrologic regime. That has a real and measurable impact on the local environment. All this stuff about resources and water used for construction is just a shell game that looks good on paper. Kind of like the carbon trading market.

    FWIW, I went to Trader Joes Today. It was pretty busy but the lines moved fast!

  • miamiblue

    Everyone knows that real environmentalists (not the ones that are just in it for the fad) don’t shop at Trader Joe’s. They get most of their food from local farmer’s markets and CSA subscriptions.

    And I’m not really sure why pedestrian friendliness was even brought up. I don’t think there is any way that the Holly Park shopping center could be pedestrian friendly without tearing the whole thing down.

    I’ll check TJ’s out to see what it’s like since it is on the way to/from work. But I am usually disappointed by things that are hyped up that much.

  • North_Raleigh_Guy

    “Everyone knows that real environmentalists (not the ones that are just in it for the fad) don’t shop at Trader Joe’s. They get most of their food from local farmer’s markets and CSA subscriptions.”

    I hope that was a light hearted jab. I work in the environmental field and I know some pretty hardcore environmentalist (read: not just in it fot the fad) and not all get their produce from farmer’s markets and CSA’s. The reason being it has very little to do with your view of the environemnt really.

    Keep in mind that there is truly nothing environmentally friendly about farming whether it local or not even if it is organic or not. Farming is land disturbing activity that removes natural ground cover and results in loss of wildlife habitat, and surface runoff of sediment and fertilizer (inlcuding organic fertilizer). Even when done properly you are only mitigating the environmental impact of farming. It still isn’t a “+” for mother earth.

    Shopping for local produce has way more to do with supporting the local economy than it does with supporting the environment. Us “true environmentalist” get that! :-)

  • l

    i drive a jetta and go to costco and tj’s. i must be one of “those” people.

  • RonT

    The more “we” define a REAL environmentalist to be something most people are not – such as limiting their shopping to local farmers’ markets etc. the more being environmentally friendly seems unobtainable by the masses. I for one will take ANY improvements people are willing to make. Let’s face it, as Americans we consume vastly more resources than most of the people in the world. I hardly think driving cross town on a Saturday morning to go to a farmers market – where very little I find to be organic (at least looking at the NC farmers market), rather than a short drive to a supermarket makes me greener.

    Lame to see comparisons that try to distinguish between the ITB crowd and those in Cary. Have you been to New York City? Or another large city? Folks ITB or in Cary for the most part look the same. I think that those who paid more for their little fixer uppers houses ITB need to continue to justify the price somehow. Good luck.

  • TheEmperor’sCritic

    From your 11/2 post (WRDU):
    “(Please feel free to comment, but spare us pro/anti-Rush rhetoric . The point of the post is the impact on local radio.)”

    Yet, you have no problem going into a long-winded, meandering diatribe on TJ’s impact on the environment? C’mon.

  • David

    Geez, is this spillover crowd from NewRaleigh? I think Dana’s larger point on “green consistency” is right on. I am always annoyed by those who pay “token” homage to green fads until they are bored by them, all the while whining about what other people are doing with their lives. I know people who do not shower for weeks and refuse to have children because of the environmental impact, who at the same time do not try to get me to adhere to their “religion”. I have a ton more respect for them than those willing to endure the most minor inconveniences in order to feel better about themselves.

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