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Old 12-13-2009, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Bryn Mawr Minneapolis
74 posts, read 339,177 times
Reputation: 46

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I am a Fargo native and have a question:

What would Fargoans want in a grocery store downtown? With the increasing population downtown from the students at NDSU to those empty nesters who have relocated to those wonderful lofts and condos downtown...What is missing? Other than bread and milk? (Trader Joe's doesn't count)

Last edited by thomjoe; 12-13-2009 at 01:42 AM..
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:55 AM
 
231 posts, read 650,727 times
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what is missing? the customer-base needed to support a grocery store there, people in fargo aren't very interested in making concessions for convenience. heck, i live in a city because i like all of the niceties, better quality products, and the variety.

low prices are another key, and i know that i wouldn't be willing to pay extra for the convenience of buying groceries downtown when i'm already driving past a larger retailer home or to work; plus, a smaller store wouldn't be able to benefit from the economy scale like cash-wise, hornbacher's, etc. add those things together with people who would rather drive than walk (this is america, right? no one walks unless they're too poor for a car, right?), the lack of parking and difficulty in driving around the downtown area, and americans buy groceries on a much longer time-scale (read: bigger loads, harder to carry), and... suddenly, i don't see a grocery store succeeding there.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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Cities with a lot more people living downtown have tried for decades to get groceries downtown. Granted downtown Fargo's different than a big city in other ways but I doubt anything large would likely ever occur short of the city throwing an insane amount of money at them.

Maybe something smaller like an Aldi?
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:14 AM
 
252 posts, read 581,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stmp692 View Post
Maybe something smaller like an Aldi?
I agree with this. Something smaller would be nice, especially if it was open past bar time. An all-out grocery wouldn't do so great because a lot of the traffic is drive-through traffic, but a smaller place that sold necessities and frozen food (aka drunk food) I think would do well. Hell, the metro drug would suffice if it didn't close at 6 pm. But so far even the sunmart on university (7 blocks away from the heart of downtown) isn't even open 24 hours because there's not enough business for it.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Fargo, ND
418 posts, read 1,187,656 times
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Perishables--milk, bread, some fruit, deli meats. In Chicago and other cities in Illinois there is a chain called White Hen Pantry, which is an expanded convenience store. Something similar to that would suffice.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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I don't know I think a grocery store, a small one, maybe something similar to the Hornbacher's Express would work. The Sunmart on University is a terrible grocery store and really isn't "downtown" I would say. I think it would have more than enough support with all the college kids that live downtown and go to school downtown. That number will only increase, it just makes sense.
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Bryn Mawr Minneapolis
74 posts, read 339,177 times
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I should have been more specific on my question. Would a smaller type grocery store/deli work well downtown? Enough to cater to the increased college population as well as those looking for a more upscale selection? When I grew up in Fargo in the 60s, there were so many neighborhood grociers. I just think one would so compliment the revitalization going on. Thoughts?
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:16 AM
 
252 posts, read 581,554 times
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How small is "smaller?" If you mean something like the stores on the corners of Broadway, I'd say yes. But not like the Hornbachers Express like was mentioned previously.

I'm just going to be blunt. I really, really, REALLY don't want to see some ugly, modern grocery plopped down amongst the old buildings from the 1890's. Downtown tried to modernize its look in the 80's and it ruined everything to the point where no one wanted to go down there. The old buildings have their charm and so far fargo has been really good about fixing the mistake of the 80's and building any new buildings with a look similar to the old. Downtown is returning to be "the place to hang out" and I REALLY want to see it become an attraction for college students, couples, tourists, and the like. I want to see downtown turn from a struggling "jack of all trades" to a master of one or two areas. My issues with a big ol grocery is that there's little to no chance that such a business would want to tweak its look so extremely to fit in and even if they did, it'd require another block knocked down for the massive parking lots groceries need. That's a lot of space taken up for one business. I'd rather see a lot of niche stores/hangouts be in that spot, and its the niches/hangouts that are bringing downtown back. A small deli/grocer would be nice though. Its only competition would be the Metro drug, and that place mainly sells whatever one would find at a Walgreen's. A place that sold specialty meats/cheeses/breads would intrigue me though.

Know what? I think I'm going to make a thread for ideas on what would improve downtown fargo.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:15 PM
 
17 posts, read 58,326 times
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I think something say kind of along the lines of what the Greenmarket was, but offer far more selection and have it affordable. That was the problem with the Greenmarket a small selection and was not very affordable. I think this could be a great business opportunity for somebody wanting to own and operate a small corner grocer/deli. I agree with the above poster. I said a Hornbacher's Express type thing, but that would even be too big. Also, people are talking about all sorts of national grocery chains to put in there but nobody has talked about maybe a small local business going in there. The problem would be of course pricing the goods accordingly and making sure it is well stocked.

I can imagine a Trader Joe's in Fargo and I don't doubt it will happen, but it will more than likely be in south Fargo.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Bryn Mawr Minneapolis
74 posts, read 339,177 times
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Great comments...Yes, something affordable, yet offering something above and beyond what is downtown right now. I have thought of returning to Fargo to open a business like this. I am so thrilled what is happening in my native downtown, and I would love to see it continue to grow. I never would have imagined this after I witnessed downtown going down the drain in the mid 1970s and 80s. Fargo is ready to embrace it's center core, once again!
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