I am impressed with Safeway's ability to keep plans for a new store silent. I really do not understand how they could have gained an option on property, had plans in place for a 58,000 square foot facility yet kept our local officials in the dark. They have to be very efficient in their operation.
It is sort of weird that a law that was earmarked to stop Wal-Mart may have the effect of helping Wal-Mart. It seems that since they are grandfathered in, they are the only institution that has the right to build an establishment over 50,000 square feet in Hood River, which no longer will allow commercial buildings of over 50,000 square feet. In effect, we have "cut off our nose to spite our face."
I am glad that we allow a business to increase its size by 10 percent. A no-growth program would have been very regressive. I have no doubt that this restriction has good merit, and a lot of research behind it.
Regarding the reference to Toys-R-Us. I recently read an article that included the fact that some toy stores have been experimenting with outlets within existing stores, such as Sears. Perhaps if we look closely enough Enron may have had problems because of Wal-Mart. It is nice to have a bogey-man to blame problems on.
Hood River Valley's fruit industry is hurting. It is also very important to the local economy. Rosauers now features many of the local fruits. Perhaps Safeway and Wal-Mart could be encouraged to feature some of these products. Anything is worth trying. Also, I do not want to see the present Wal-Mart location remain vacant if Wal-Mart relocates. Perhaps there could be an incentive to make sure that there is a tenant of some sort.