As planning for what to do with the vacant lot in the heart of Charles Village (that grassy expanse between 32nd and 33rd Streets, along St. Paul Street) began to develop, there was some talk of bringing in a grocery store to anchor the space. But that won’t be happening, according to Armada Hoffler, the developer of the site, because Charles Village residents are afraid that a larger grocery store would run beloved local market Eddie’s out of business.
Through surveys with Charles Village residents and a series of community meetings, it became clear that neighborhood sentiment was against bringing in another, bigger grocery store because it might supplant Eddie’s. Concerned Charles Village-ites even founded a group, Friends of Eddie’s Market, to circulate petitions door-to-door and at the weekly Waverly Farmer’s Market.
Not everyone was on board; on his blog, Adam Meister wondered whether a city struggling with “food desert” problems should really be turning grocery stores away: “In the recent past we have heard so much about Baltimore being a food desert that had to beg grocery stores to relocate here. Now that a store wants to locate here some people want us to ‘protect’ an older store (that charges high prices) and block the once desired new store. Ahhh Baltimore!”
But so far, most of the response seems to be of the pro-Eddie’s variety. And, to be honest, between that store and the Safeway on 25th Street, the Charles Village area is pretty well covered. What do you want to see happen as a part of the Olmstead lot development?
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