little attention, probably because it's located at the cusp of three District
Councils. The proposed Trader Joe's at the corner of Lexington and Randolph is
technically in Highland Park, but is across the street from Mac Groveland and
across the freeway from West 7th. I think that the immediate neighbors have
weighed in on it and that Highland did express some concerns about it.
I understand that there are a number of variances needed to make the project
work, most of which were set out in the Highland Villager's story from the Nov.
7th edition. From the looks of the list, there are all sorts of issues that
the Commission will have to address.
The store itself (and a second retail store at the Lex/Juno corner) would be a
big change for this primarily residential corner of streets that are mostly
residential in this area. A few years back, these residents got relief from 20+
years of bearing 35E traffic when 35E was connected to Ayd Mill. Looks like
there is some potential that this quiet will be short-lived if this store goes
in. No real numbers are available as to the level of traffic that this would
generate, and given that the parking lots at the existing stores are almost
always full, there needs to be some real numbers made available to decision
But one thing that doesn't seem to have entered the discussion is the truck
traffic that will be needed to serve such a high-volume store. I suspect that
it will be a big headache for those nearby. There is little room for
navigation of the trucks, and there will be plenty of "boop-boop-boop-boop"
from all the backing in that will take place right off Juno and Lexington
(there is no curb cut on Randolph). The trucks serving the store will be
traveling through neighborhoods to get there, as the trucks aren't allowed on
I think that the lure of the site is the easy-on-easy-off from the freeway,
along with the up-the-hill demographics. It's interesting to note that Trader
Joe's parent company has been trying very hard to place an Aldi's on some
underutilized land on West 7th, but turned decidedly cold when residents
objecting to the Aldi's suggested that a Trader Joe's was more the direction
they wanted their street to go.
The Aldi's on West 7th appears to no longer be on the table, but (speaking from
my West 7th perch), I worry that this store will suck away the impetus for a
full service store in the middle section of the street.
From what I've heard, Trader Joe's is one of those destination stores that
people are willing to drive a distance to shop at. Why is it being shoehorned
into such a small site in the midst of residential when a short distance away
(actually, the next exit down the freeway), there are sites that would readily
work for a destination grocery store like this?
Just a few thoughts to get some discussion going.