Last week’s column of “Big Box Phobia and Other Urban Ills” drew a huge reaction. (See response section below.) Though the response sample is hardly scientific it does show that there are people from throughout the city who want to see retail development along that corridor. Georgia-based Victory Development Company has proposed a large-scale development along a mostly abandoned industrial strip in Mid-City.
I still maintain that the term “big box” has become a poisoned one and is clouding the issue. (The stores really borrow from the self-service aspects of super markets and are able to offer price incentives by having a large inventory. Hardly a suburban invention – locally, John Schwegmann used the same approach with groceries fifty years ago)
Meanwhile the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization has qualified one controversial point.  In the Times- Picayune’s coverage of a community meeting that was held on the issue, Jennifer Washaupt, the group’s vice-president, was reported on having said: “I told them (Victory), ‘If I can shop at it in Metairie or the West Bank, I don’t want it here. “
According to the group’s web newsletter, “What Jennifer Weishaupt really said was ‘If we can get it in Metairie or the West Bank, we don’t need it here’ and the context of the discussion was chain restaurants, not shopping.”
More on this next week.

If you have any comments on this article write to ERROL LABORDE’S COMMENTARY: BIG BOX, PART Use “Big Box, Part 2” as the subject line. All responses are subject to publication in this newsletter and may be edited for brevity and content.

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