Congratulations to the City Council. It got this one right:
A gas station and mini-strip mall appear to be on their way to the south side of downtown Fort Wayne after City Council approved the rezoning of about two acres at 3230 Fairfield Avenue.
Council twice voted, 6-2 and 7-1, on three rezoning requests by the City Plan Commission. C&J Fairfield, Inc. wants to tear down the front half of the vacant George's Express Market and invest $1.5 million to convert it to four tenant spaces, including a convenience store and a gas station.
[. . .]
C&J Fairfield agreed that the property's owners were not allowed to use tenant spaces for a liquor store, check cashing, tobacco shop, tattoo parlor or “other business they feel don't attribute to the health of the neighborhood.”
In general, we have too many failed or failing businesses in that part of town, and it's good to see somebody willing to a chance on the neighborhood. Even a tobacco shop or tattoo parlor would be better than an empty and aging building.
And specifically, the new development will increase my own convenience quotient. I shopped a lot at George's (previously Fairfield Food Express and before that a Roger's). Its prices were too high and the selection too limited for me to make it my regular supermarket, but it was on the way home and a handy place to stop when I just needed one or two things.
It's interesting how a simple thing like having a regular gorcery store you like can make your life so much better. When I was a kid, Maloley's was our supermarket, and our Friday night shopping trips were a family affair. I divide most of my shopping these days between the Scott's on Bluffton Road and the Kroger at Southgate since they're both about the same distance from my house. When they were separately owned, there were things I liked and didn't like about each one, but now that Kroger has taken over Scott's, they are becoming more alike. I'd shop more often at the Walmart at the former Southtown location if they'd put the damn cat food and litter in the supermarket part instead of all the way at the other end of the store, like two football fields away.
Wouldn't mind having a Trader Joe's here -- the one in Indy is someplace I check out occasionally -- but it has to be in my neighborhood or at least in my normal drive path. Somebody get right on that,