Okay, fellow citizens, let’s talk grocery stores. If there’s one thing that really, truly seems to be bonding community members of late, it’s the fact that we’ve been able to swoon over the influx of new and improved supermarkets.
Earlier this month, the Triangle’s first Wegmans store opened in Midtown East with a record number of customers — more than 3,000 — lined up around the building at dawn. In late September, the Chapel-Hill based Weaver Street Market opened a location in the Warehouse District, marking downtown Raleigh’s first grocery store in recent history. Hot on their heels is the Publix scheduled to open on Peace Street plotted for spring 2020 + Saxapahaw General Store, a 16,000 sq. ft. grocery and cafe coming soon-ish to Transfer Co. Keeping pace, the Cameron Village Harris Teeter will complete an $8 million renovation later this year. Plus, there are multiple Lowes Foods nearby in East + Southwest Raleigh (which lets us shop while sipping on craft beers), so it’s worth a little more of a drive.
So why all the fuss over grocery stores? A big part of it has to do with the population boom in and around downtown Raleigh over the past ten years. The urban center has recently surpassed 10,000 residents, which is a critical threshold for grocery store brands when considering where to build new locations. Basically what it all adds up to is downtowners won’t have to drive 20 minutes for groceries anymore.