What would you buy?

The Town Council’s leanings at Monday night’s meeting took us by surprise, giving a thumbs down on The Cottages student apartments along Homestead Road and insisting on commercial space in Obey Creek across from Southern Village. It prompted a discussion between Don and me about what sort of business would draw us to shop in Obey Creek or Southern Village.

We realized we were not good meters of the average consumers. Both self-employed in a dying industry and with two children in schools that demand tuition, we don’t shop. Our austere health insurance keeps us from going to the doctor, so that rules out prescriptions, the main reason we might go to a drug store. We’ve aged out of growth spurts and don’t go anyplace where people care what we look like, so we don’t buy new clothes. Once every 20 years, we’ll buy a refrigerator or washing machine or car. About every five years, one of us – not me – buys a new computer. A couple of times a year, we go to an office supply store to buy paper. We buy groceries and gasoline, and that’s it.

Periodically, I go to a garden store to buy a plant for the bald patches in our lawn that don’t get enough sunlight to grow anything – we call it our shade garden – but Chapel Hill and Carrboro have enough nurseries. In recent years, I’ve gone to a home improvement store to buy chicken wire and plastic mesh to build what has become a plant zoo to discourage deer, but, again, we have plenty of choices there. We go to the library instead of bookstores – and much as we use the library, we think it is fiscally irresponsible to expand it now.

So we’re taking the debate to the Web world – what sort of business would draw you to a commercial center that might be a bit out of your way? What does our town need?

One commenter at the meeting came up with an idea that we support 100 percent: Put a miniature golf course in Obey Creek. With Southern Community Park just down the street, that would fit in well. And it is the only thing we think our Southern Part of Heaven lacks.

What do you think?
– Nancy Oates

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. Bill

     /  May 19, 2010

    I would like to see a Wal Mart so I don’t have to drive to Durham to shop.

  2. Mark Marcoplos

     /  May 19, 2010

    A batting cage would be nice also.
    A tool & equipment rental business, since our local ones are now defunct.

  3. Geoff Green

     /  May 19, 2010

    Hardware store? I’d rather drive to a smaller store in lieu of one of the leviathans which take 25 minutes to get in and out of.

  4. Anon

     /  May 19, 2010

    Ice skating rink


    water slides

  5. Mark Marcoplos

     /  May 19, 2010

    A sports equipment store that includes a used equipment component. Since Play It Again moved from Eastgate, we don’t have a local store like that.

  6. Frank

     /  May 19, 2010

    Bill, I hope you’re joking.

  7. Bob

     /  May 19, 2010

    Walmart…..let’s get the sales tax revenue to this county instead of to Durham. If you don’t want to shop there, don’t. It’s not your business to tell me or anyone else where to shop. That is a slippery slope. The tax burdens in southern Orange County are monstrous compared to other places in NC where people aren’t so focused on telling other people where they can and cannot shop.

  8. js

     /  May 19, 2010

    IKEA so I don’t have to drive to Charlotte or DC.

  9. Bill

     /  May 19, 2010

    Frank, why pray tell would you think I was joking? Or Bob for that matter?

    Do you have something against WalMart? It is a great place to shop. As evidenced by the fact that it is a very large corporation. Which became large because people like to shop there.

    So, what is your problem with me shopping there if I want to?

  10. Terri Buckner

     /  May 19, 2010

    I think the important thing is to look at what the people who travel the 15-501 corridor from Pittsboro to Chapel Hill want. Those are the people who will really shop there. There are already two Tru Value stores in north Chatham and possibly a Walmart coming.

    I like the idea of an IKEA. I’d like to see Trader Joes, Costco, TJ Maxx, linens store–in an urban type mall (up rather than out). Those are the kinds of businesses that will allow southern Orange to compete with north Chatham for retail businesses.

  11. Bob

     /  May 20, 2010

    Terri, Amen to all of that…….get the stores in (Costco would be outstanding!) where people will actually shop.

  12. Mark Marcoplos

     /  May 20, 2010

    At least Costco has some laudable business practices. WalMart’s, Costco’s, etc. will cause some local businesses to fold. Plus they take local money and send it out of the community. WalMart has a record of treating emplyees unfairly. Many of their products are made by people oversees working for slave wages. (But, hey, our whole way-of-life is underpinned by exploitation of people lower on the hierarchy and the natural world.) They are ugly buildings with huge parking lots. On the plus side, they have become more energy-efficient. And they seem to sell every goddam thing under one roof. I go to one about twice a year when I need something specific in a hurry (last two purchases were a fishing rod & tackle and a football). I wouldn’t miss them if they were gone.

  13. Terri Buckner

     /  May 20, 2010

    What local businesses do you think a Costco would compete with? Roses maybe, but I continually hear rumors that University Mall wants them gone. Dollar Stores maybe, but they aren’t locally owned. I’ve only been to a Costco once though so I’m not a good judge. I do know that Ellie Kinnaird wanted to recruit one for Carrboro.

  14. Bill

     /  May 20, 2010

    Well, okay then. I will continue to take my tax dollars to the WalMart in Durham. Good luck with your social engineering efforts.

  15. Mark Marcoplos

     /  May 20, 2010

    Well, there’s people that don’t understand the difference between the effects of a huge corporate business vs. the effects of a small, locally owned business. It’s all social engineering, except in some cases you actually know the people you are affecting.

  16. Bill

     /  May 20, 2010

    I understand everyday low prices. There really is nothing else to understand.

  17. Frank

     /  May 20, 2010

    Wal-Mart…. wow…. and I thought that Chapel Hill was full of educated people. Wow.

  18. Bill

     /  May 20, 2010

    Frank, you left out the “snobby elitist I know better than you” just before the word “educated”. You must not be a native.

  19. Frank

     /  May 24, 2010

    Bill: You’ve made it clear that your priorities and your sense of responsibility start and end at your wallet. Congratulations.