The flip side of success

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  1. Nancy, is there a firm plan to objectively measure the success (or failure) of the Wegman’s deal?

    By firm, I mean a plan in place now.

    By objective, I mean measuring more than the sales and property revenues which will supposedly flow forth.

    For instance, will the Town be looking at tax revenues from our long time grocers – like Foodlion, Harris Teeter, Wholefoods (Wellspring) – and shorter term grocers like Trader Joes – which are within the Wegman’s blast zone? Is this another case of shuffling the deck over increasing the size of the pie?

    Will there be any measures, beyond what you mentioned, of traffic impacts in the surrounding area? Will the Town measure upticks in traffic within the neighborhoods that have alternative egress to see if folks “in the know” also use them as an ingress to Wegmans?

    Besides traffic, Wegmans promises a bit of an increase in the impervious surface in that area. Is the Town and County ready to track that impact?

    Is the town ready to take these measures and determine the cost – if any – of citizen subsidized “improvements” to mitigate traffic, environmental or other adjacent impacts?

    What about those jobs? I haven’t seen any mechanism put forward that is transparent enough to give the community the confidence that we’re getting the kind of quality jobs promised (recall the dozen Northside jobs Greenbridge promised – what happened to them?).

    Wegmans is an economic gamble that so many electeds have praised in an “only upside” way.

    Before we get too far into the future, it would be more than nice if there was a framework (the kind of framework we’re missing for so many of the recent projects plaguing Town) to determine if the gamble was worth it.

  2. Bruce Springsteen

     /  November 10, 2017

    “For instance, will the Town be looking at tax revenues from our long time grocers – like Foodlion, Harris Teeter, Wholefoods (Wellspring) – and shorter term grocers like Trader Joes – which are within the Wegman’s blast zone? Is this another case of shuffling the deck over increasing the size of the pie?”

    You forgot another grocery store that is within Wegmen’s blast zone. Hint: It’s the largest grocery chain in the country.

    Then again, with respect to Orange County we don’t have to worry about the change in tax revenues from this grocery chain because (1) it’s in Durham County and (2) it serves a clientele that Orange County doesn’t bother competing for, which is why it’s in Durham County instead of Orange County.

  3. plurimus

     /  November 11, 2017

    Bruce,

    I kind of doubt people who grocery shop at Food Lion or Walmart (myself included) will suddenly switch to shop at Wegmans.

    Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods (Amazon) perhaps.

    I think Will’s point about cannibalization was tax revenue, which as you point out will not include WalMart.

    As far a WalMart goes, things have changed radically since that (and other) decisions were made. Not sure the same input would arrive at the same decision today.

    Given the changes that are coming and the departure of BCBSNC and significant cuts at NIH, Chapel Hill is less tax wealthy than it has been in the past. Future decisions will be a lot more consequential.

    The larger point about whether these questions are even being asked, let alone answered by the town staff (who are after all responsible for collecting and presenting the decision making data with a recommendation) stands.

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