I’m astounded by how many people are offended, angry or disapproving of Whole Foods coming to Midtown. I’m willing to bet some of these same people live in the suburbs and shop at the local WalMart (which is known for paying low wages to their employees and for age discrimination). Some of these are the same people who complain about the blight and abandoned buildings in the city, but will protest new construction going up. Many people seem to also believe that all people in Detroit are poor and can’t afford Whole Foods prices. These same people are debating that Whole Foods coming into the Midtown community will put the “mom-and-pop” stores out of business resulting in lost jobs. The existing grocery store in Midtown IS NOT a “mom-and-pop” owned store; it is a Spartan store with extremely high prices and very poor quality food. Mom-and-pop grocery stores barely exist anymore, particularly in Midtown. And the next nearest grocery store is a Kroger in Grosse Pointe Woods.
People are also complaining about how much Whole Foods will receive in tax incentives.
Nearly every large company operating in Downtown DETROIT receives tax incentives and the only ones not paying back into the community as much as they receive from it are the three existing CASINOS, that gross millions of dollars per day. That seems like it would be something for people to get angry about. Unfortunately, no one has really noticed.
Change is good and positive progress is even better. A suburb is only as strong as the city that it surrounds. If Detroit doesn’t grow and flourish, Metro Detroit suburbs won’t either. It’s time for us to stop living in the 1800’s. The reason we don’t have more economic opportunities in Detroit is because of many of these same narrow-minded complainers who don’t even live in the city limits, don’t want to embrace positive change for what it is, and they work extremely hard to prevent the change from occurring. Instead they prefer to dwell on all of the fictional problems that they expect the change to cause, without even thinking for one second that a company like Whole Foods has already possibly considered those and found solutions for them in advance.
So it’s ok for suburban neighborhoods to have grocery stores and the evil WalMart where everything is made in China, but it’s not okay to have a grocery store in Midtown?
While the complainers are steadily on the backs of Whole Foods, they overlooked additional growth taking place within the city – mostly because they are unable to multi-focus their complaints in more than one direction at the same time. That is actually a very good thing. It’s good because growth is under the radar for these complainers. Detroit is getting a Meijer store and “strip” mall at 8 Mile Road and Woodward opening in 2013. Twitter (YES, TWITTER) and Chrysler are opening offices in downtown Detroit, not to mention the huge Olga’s Kitchen opening in the CompuWare building. Furthermore, Whole Foods has invested $1 Million to bring a non-traditional banking facility, that operates successfully in New York and California (with an impressively low minimal loan default ratio) to the city of Detroit that will help business owners fund their businesses and projects when the existing traditional banks deny them lines of credit.
Did you catch that?
Whole Foods is already making a positive change to help the city business owners and they just broke ground this month.
All the nasty, bigoted, elitist comments being made on news posts and blogs are utterly ridiculous and extremely exaggerated. People are constantly saying that people residing in Midtown can only grocery shop with bridge cards and can’t afford Whole Foods. Guess what? Midtown Detroit has more doctors, nurses and professionals residing there than reside in Palmer Park and Boston Edison. The average household income in Midtown is over $100,000 per year. There’s also less crime in that part of the city thanks in large part to Wayne State University Police who patrol the entire area.
I commented on articles written by Detroit Free Press and Huffington Post Detroit because I was so surprised at all the negativity. This just reiterates what I said in my previous blog I Get It…I Really Do, about the negative mindsets of people living in Detroit.