Grocery Store Planned for First Ward
Covenant Community Development Corporation spoke to theRidgeway Neighborhood Association about its plans to re-zone and torevitalize the community.
The association plans to put a grocerystory at the corner of Sexton and Garth. A lot of folks fromthis neighborhood and at Oak Towers just across the street don'thave transportation to get to the nearest grocery store. But some whocameo the meeting say it'll take a lot more than a local grocery tofixate problems here.
"I just see it as people coming in and making money off the community," complained Charity Clark, a resident.
Clark haslived in the Ridgeway area for four years and she says this neighborhoodmeeting was the first she's heard of Covenant Community DevelopmentCorporation's plans.
"All of a sudden I hear they're rezoning this area, and the people in the community didn't know about it," she said.
But members of Covenant CDC say they want the same things for the community as residents do.
"Covenant CDC'splan is to bring economic opportunity through a mixed economic andcommercial plan that would in essence be an economic gardenwhere entrepreneurs can grow," explained Steve Henness, from CovenantCDC.
But Clark says the local economy won't grow unless parts of the plan change. She says more low wage jobs in the community are not the answer.
"It would perpetuate poverty instead of helping these people out," Clark said.
Henness says he also lives in the neighborhood and sees a need his plan can fill.
"Jobs that even pay a modest wage, say eight dollars an hour, will be an improved situation for some families," he said.
But Clark says residents deserve more.
"If it'slocally owned, then that changes everything, because I would love forthe people here to have something to do," said Clark.
Members ofCovenant CDC and the neighborhood association say they'll try to find asolution before the city's re-zoning meeting. Theneighborhood association tabled any vote on the issue.They scheduled another meeting discuss the plan further. That meeting will be on July 1 at the downtown Optimist Club.