Ground-Level Grocery Stores Proliferate in Boston
For The Boston Globe, Tim Logan reports on a proliferation of ground-level grocery stores in the city's mixed-use neighborhoods. "From the South End to Waltham, builders looking to fill their ground floors with businesses that double as amenities are teaming up with grocers who want easy access to an upscale clientele. The result: A new hybrid, something between the corner grocers of old Boston and the vast supermarkets of suburbia."
Grocery shoppers don't want a long walk, meaning a certain level of residential density must be in place. "For grocery stores, having residents upstairs provides a built-in customer base, and typically one apartment building leads to another, putting more customers within walking distance. They can anchor not just a building, but a neighborhood."
Some developers see ground-level grocery shopping as another amenity to offer prospective residents, and an essential one at that. Still, concerns remain. For instance, "the logistics of loading and unloading groceries in the early morning can be complicated when a few hundred people are sleeping upstairs." And parking is still an issue for those shoppers who do drive in.