Albemarle Approves Hollymead Town Center

Surprising nobody, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors approved rezoning of 24 acres on 29 by 5-1, permitting the creation of a substantial portion the 165 acre Hollymead Town Center shopping center. (The BOS will rule on two other parcels in August.) They did so after two hours of public comment, with plenty of speakers both in favor of and opposed to the big-box development. Ultimately, the supervisors agreed with Charles Martin, who said, simply, “I think a big box is OK.” David Dadurka has the story in today’s Progress.

133 thoughts on “Albemarle Approves Hollymead Town Center”

  1. Tomorrow’s headline will read like this:

    “No growth” refugees flee Albemarle in mass exodus, fearing concrete jungle.

    To those who said that supporters who wanted more shopping should move to Fredericksburg or Richmond, I’d like to point out that there is a lot of cheap, truly rual property in Buckingham County that is for sale.

    If you need help moving, let me know.

  2. "I’d like to point out that there is a lot of cheap, truly rual property in Buckingham County that is for sale."

    Not for long! That is, until the greedy developers, road builders, and car sellers see what a gold mine of unpaved land there is there!!!

  3. Indie, I sympathize with you. But you know what, maybe it’s time we faced the inevitable: the entire U.S. of A is 3/4 complete towards uniformity. Other than maybe the Grand Canyon, the northern lakes and some desert out south west, it all looks and feels the same. Ho Jo’s, MickeyD’s and Wal-Mart have built their business models on precisely that. Consumers should be able to recognize instantly these brands wherever they may be and therefore prefer to patronize these places because of familiarity.

    I’m sad because it’s more and more difficult to experience new things (w/o drugs, not interested). For instance, we rarely go to the same restaurants just because we like to try something different. But even this will be certainly standardized: patrons will flock to the Olive Gardens and such and progressively abandon the smaller, more interesting places. Of course, Ivy Inn, Hamilton’s, Oxo and C&O will probably thrive, but many of the smaller ones won’t.

    So, anyways, welcome to America in the 21st century! Enjoy!

  4. For instance, we rarely go to the same restaurants just because we like to try something different. But even this will be certainly standardized: patrons will flock to the Olive Gardens and such and progressively abandon the smaller, more interesting places. Of course, Ivy Inn, Hamilton’s, Oxo and C&O will probably thrive, but many of the smaller ones won’t.

    Interesting that you mention that — just a few weeks ago, for the first time, the number of chain restaurants in the U.S. exceeded the number of locally-owned restaurants.

  5. Hahahaha, that rocks. The next day’s headline will be:

    Charlottesville Hippies Cry Their Eyes Out–Flooding Ensues

    Best Buy does suck, though. (Not because they are big box)…could we at least get Good Guys or Myer-Emco?

  6. Come on now – the world population is increasing. Period. The problem is not developers. It’s people having a bazillion kids and expecting the world to pay for them, feed them, and educate them.

    All these new people have to live, work, and shop somewhere. As long as it isn’t Albemarle, that’s fine, right?

    So, yes, EVENTUALLY there will be pavement everywhere unless people start having less kids.

  7. Some of the chain restaurants are pretty good. I love how you people think that everything local is automatically better. What a point of view to have!

    I recently chose a local flooring company to redo my kitchen floor. I chose them over Lowes because they seemed nice and I decided to do something different. The workers did a good job, but there were a couple of issues after the fact that the company refuses to address. Poor customer service. Local company. Would Lowe’s been better? Maybe, maybe not. But I had a choice, and I made the wrong on in this case. I feel so much better when I get screwed by a local company than by a chain.

    Not to mention, some of the "chains" people complain about ARE franchises owned by local business people. But, that probably bad, too.

    These things wouldn’t prosper if there was not a demand. If local business and restaurants cannot compete, then they are obviously not offering enough value to intice customers.

    That’s their problem. Not mine. I have the RIGHT to seek out the best value for my money, unhindered by local politicians and wannabes who want to do nothing but limit my choices so as to somehow push their vision of what Albemarle should be.

    Considering that almost everyt restaurant in town is packed nearly all the time, I think there is room for growth.

    I like Olive Garden. I also like Ragazzis. Am I going to stop eating at Ragazzis if we get an Olive Garden? Hell no. We can eat at Ragazzis for $30 and change, whereas Olive Garden will run me $50+ easily. Ragazzi’s offers a better value, and will continue to get a large portion of my business. But, it’s nice to have a choice.

  8. Best Buy has pissed me off a few times with their signs that tell me that by walking through their door my Constitutional Right protecting me against unlawful searches is null and void.

    But, they have good prices and selections. It’s all about having options, and in this town there are not a lot of options for many things.

    I tired real hard to do my grocery shopping on the downtown mall, but found that CVS just didn’t have what I needed. And, their are a national chain, too. You can only imagine what a letdown that was.

    You know, all the whiners complain about traffic, yet want you to goto 10 different local shops scattered around town to do your shopping.

    If you are REALLY concerned about traffic, build a mega-mall. Park once, shop all day. And, it fits the "neighborhood model" because you truly can walk everywhere to do your shopping.

  9. No. I am the product of divine intervention.

    The fact is that everyone blames developers for all their problems. The real problem is too many damn people. Do you deny this?

    I know that if we all recycle our plastic and plant a tree we can fit another 4 billion people on the Earth, but it has to stop somewhere.

  10. This is exactly what that DISC and Eric Struko brought forth to help control growth. Why is everyone so shocked? There will be continued growth in the "growth area". The Supervisors have let several years worth of growth pile up. Something will be built there and what purposed would be welcome in nearly any other locale in Virginia. (it’s a given that some nova locales would not)

    By the way does anyone know how our growth rate compare with the states and northern Virginia?

  11. patrons will flock to the Olive Gardens and such and progressively abandon the smaller, more interesting places.

    It just occured to me how illogical your statement was. If these places are truly more interesting, then people will continue to go to them. There is no driving force that is coercing people to eat at Olive Garden other than Joe’s Diner.

    Perhaps the truth of the matter is that YOU perceive the place as more interesting, and the rest of the population just wants good value for their money.

    The world is big enough (thanks to continuing population growth) to have chains and “mom and pops” – and each can POTENTIALLY provide an “interesting” experience.

    You’re just selfish, because you fear the places that YOU like may not have enough mass appeal to survive in a competitive environment. So, to further your “way of life” you wish to limit the choices made available to others. Nice.

    I maintain that, ESPECIALLY with restaurants, the good will continue to survive, regardless of the fact that they are local or national.

    Question – what exactly constitutes a “local” restaurant, anyway?

  12. Growth in the Growth Area. What a concept.

    "Oh, but not THAT growth …. only growth that I like…"

    If they wanted to build a Museum of Early Indonesian Folk Art, everyone would be all over it.

  13. It’s an economic matter, pure and simple. Supporting local businesses keeps the money in town and, ultimately, a small percentage goes back in my pocket. Supporting chains keeps a much, much smaller amount of the money in town.

  14. I don’t blame developers whatsoever. Were they appointed somehow somewhere to "do the right thing"? I blame folks in general for not having the political will to do things right and not just let things happen. No one wants to pay taxes and no one wants to kick our government’s and institutions’ asses.

    And I’ll be honest (but not trying to be aggressive): people such as yourself are the problem. You don’t care who or what you bulldoze, as long as you get macadam pathways to your favorite shopping spots. You don’t seem interested in the slightest in working to make it happen the right way.

    Blame the corporations and the developers? Nope. They’re doing their job making money. It’s the community’s job to contain these and make things work for the best of their constituents. The BOS is failing miserably at this time.

  15. Not true. I am all for developing things in a "nice" manner. I have seen the drawing for the Town Center and it looks pretty nice to me. Want to see a crap development, see Central Park in Fredericksburg. HTC is MUCH more attractive than developments like that.

    I live in that area. About three miles from it. I DO care what they bulldoze. I’m not sure by what you mean when you say the "right way." Many in this forum imply that the "right way" is to have no big stores and FORCE everyone to shop at Mom and Pop’s Shop for their daily needs. Not everyone wants to do all their shopping in a bunch of little stores. I work well over 60 hours a week, have a toddler, a side business, and a slew of home improvement projects. I don’t have the time to drive all over town. I need places where I can park once and do my shopping.

    What exactly do you not like about HTC? It’s attractive for a shopping center. Trees. Walkways, etc. It’s in the designated growth area for Albemarle. I would have thought that you would have though this a good plan.

  16. Okay, now you’re so far off on this one, I really don’t know where to start. Decyphering your circular logic would be exhausting.

    Suffice to say that indeed, *I* perceive these places to be more interesting. Did I say otherwise?

    I have also admitted many times on cvillenews that the majority of people do demand the familiarity of Olive Garden and McDonald’s. Heaven forbid you should have to read a menu with stuff from foreign countries! Help! It’s too complicated and folks just like tomato-based sauces on spaghetti, pizza and lasagna. Hey, I bet if they get adventurous, they may go for a "white" sauce stuff like Pasat Alfredo!!!

  17. I am still waiting for my portion of the profits from all these local businesses you speak of. Where is my check?

    Guess what – I don’t get squat from Mom and Pop Inc. that I don’t get from Target. But. what I DO get from Target is more selection and lower prices (often.)

    So, please explain to me what money we receive from a "local" business that we don’t receive from a large chain? Property taxes? Sales tax? Salaries? Business licenses? What?

    Perhaps it’s the fact that Joe Fat Rich Guy in NYC is getting rich and spending all THAT money at Macey’s in Manhatten. If Joe Shifflet in Albemarle gets rich, he spends his money here. Oh, crap. No, he probably goes to the Targt in Short Pump.

    Now, I am not against Mom and Pop. Mom and Pop can potentially offer a better selection and/or price. And, when they do, I shop there. I’m smart enough to find the best deals. I don’t need local politicians trying to decide for me.

  18. You know, it just struck me, most of the people in Charlottesville who are so rabidly against growth (yeah, I’m talking to you) also consider themselves to be anti-elite. They hate corporations, the financial elite, and UVA, the intellectual elite in this community, and just want to be left alone to their small-town lives. At least, that’s the impression that I’ve gotten from this site.

    But how "grass-roots" is it to demand that a county government, elected by the people, satisfy a vocal (and annoyingly so) minority rather than the interests of the majority? If you don’t like growth, elect anti-growth supervisors. This is what democracy is for. And, after all, you do have a choice. If it appears that you cannot get your way through the democratic process, there’s always West Virginia. I don’t think it’ll get paved anytime soon.

    You champion the little guy, but you turn your nose up to the average joe. Shame on you.

  19. You implied that people would go to Olive Garden in lieu of "more interesting" places. I maintain that if they are truly more interesting, then people will continue to patronize these businesses.

    If you find that exhausting, you need a nap.

  20. I don’t like HTC because it’s placed in the worst of spots.

    Unless I’m told differently, I am the only poster here advocating reasonable growth, additional shopping by displacing traffic in "non-growth zones". 29N is not the place to put this thing! And neither is alongside any major artery. I’ve explained this many times before, but on one side, there’s the no-growth period crowd, on the other there’s the just build it because there’s demand, like you, and in the middle, there’s the city and county officials, a bunch of chicken-shit officials that couldn’t come up with an original idea if it bit them in the ass. Infill they say! Someone somewhere read that and it’s the magical ideal.

    I’ll say it again: Infill works best for high-value land that has a significant historical, artistic, natural or aesthetical value. But in suburbia? No, infill has no intrinsic value. In plain terms, for example, if traffic was once acceptable at point suburb A, then a decade later, that assessment may no longer hold true, at which time another occupant (parkland, country club…) may be preferable.

  21. Nope: they are more interesting to me, not to you or to the majority. That’s why America looks like a never-ending splattering of strip malls. And that’s why Cville is starting to look that way too.

    So, if the majority is always right, as you contend (in a circular logic kind of way), then you prevail. And you are prevailing. So that’s that.

  22. Who r u talking to? In any case, the "people" don’t know what’s good for them. So yeah, I’m an elitist. If folks knew, they wouldn’t be 22% obese! Folks would manage their finances better. They’d not elect W. Bush. Etc.

  23. So what gives you the right to tell them what’s good for them? Maybe someone else disagrees with your view on the world–why are you necessarily better than them?

    I really hope you’re joking with this crap.

  24. It seems, based on your previous comments, that you are not interested in letting a politician tell you what to do, what to buy, and where to shop. Although here, you are siding with the politicians who are determining your county’s destiny by agreeing that there should be a so-called "growth area" where they have designated it. So you do, in fact, like politicians telling you were to shop.

  25. "But how "grass-roots" is it to demand that a county government, elected by the people, satisfy a vocal (and annoyingly so) minority rather than the interests of the majority?"

    Imagine if you were on a playground and surrounded by a bunch of thugs. Just you. What if this majority of bullies started beating you, the singular minority, to a bloody pulp for absolutely no good reason. Would you think that is acceptable? Would you think, "Well the bullies know what they’re doing and because they are the majority, they must be right." Probably not. Target, in this case, is the bully and the "grass-roots" folks, as you like to call them, are the bloody pulps.

  26. What makes you think you know what’s best for everyone else just because you are in the majority? The majority can be ignorant too!

  27. Oh, plenty of you disagree with my view of the world. In fact, more people disagree with me than agree, judging by elections and this site, for instance.

    But I still think I know better. So, elitist full of crap, I am. That depends on which angle from the derrière you sit…

  28. That was a nice way of demystifying his circular logic. But I doubt he gets it.

  29. Your example is not only extreme, it is erroneous. Target, in this case, has the support of the voters, by proxy of the local government. If that bully gets voted class president, you can’t just have a coup. Your example is prejudicious and inaccurate.

  30. I’d love to see you in a Symbolic Logic class at UVA. You claim that anything you don’t agree with is circular.

  31. I’m saying that people should be able to make their own decisions, and not have a bunch of pompous jackasses tell them what’s right for them. People choose to patronize these businesses, they aren’t forced to. Perhaps you’d like a totalitarian government better than a democratic one?

  32. "Target, in this case, has the support of the voters…"

    Back to my example, what if the class endorses the thugs who beat up the little guy? Is that okay? The class, in this case, are the voters who endorse beating up the little guy. Still not okay in my book.

    And I think my comparative example is, uh, right on Target.

  33. "…and not have a bunch of pompous jackasses tell them what’s right for them."

    I’m sorry, ’cause you are in the majority, you can tell me what is right for me, eh?

    I’m all for democracy, …and I’m all for education. You just aren’t educated enough to make a good decision about what is good design and community management for the area.

  34. Has Target done anything against the law? Have they used the democratic process exactly how it should be? What exactly do you want, other than others to cater to your values?

    What makes you so good that everyone should feel what you feel?

  35. There we go. You claim I say "circular logic" when I don’t like what I hear (or read), but how about your utterly inept claim Indie would prefer a totalitarian gov. just because he opposes Targé et al on 29N. "Symbolic logic", eh?

  36. That’s good for a laugh.

    So, you’re all for democracy, yet you want to block a corporate person (Target) from building on property it owns (legally) and is zoned to do by a democratic organization (the local government).

    How is that all for democracy?

  37. Perhaps we should be welcoming you to the free market concept and the law of supply and demand, instead.

    Assuming that regional/national standardization and uniformity in commercial developments is undesirable (and for the sake of argument I’ll agree that it is), I’d be interested in hearing any realistic suggestions that you might have for preventing it.

    Call me naive, but I think both Economics 101 and common sense suggest that if there wasn’t a sufficient market for these national chains and big boxes, developers wouldn’t be building them. Isn’t that the bottom line?

  38. His comment that the decisions of the state (transitively, of the people) are not good enough for him lead me to believe he would do better in a system where voting did not decide legislation, rather some kind of "higher" ethos.

    Do you know what symbols are? You know your Ps and Qs?

  39. Yeah, you’re a symbolic *****. And you really have bought that voting majority nonsense, haven’t you?! Is it time to discuss electoral colleges?

  40. You still have not explained how anything I have said is circular. I don’t think I’ll dignify you with any other response until you do.

  41. I bet that dzawitz would be agonizing had the BOS denied the growth. Agonzing? Hell, fuming! No wait! Wasn’t he/she doing that when there wasn’t sanctioned growth?

  42. You win: you’ve exhausted me and now, I can no longer explain how your logic is circular. I bet I’d flunk philo 101 or home economics 305!

  43. "What makes you so good that everyone should feel what you feel?"

    I could ask you the same question…

    I don’t think Target is doing anything against the law. However, Target and other big box stores are designed, in many cities, very poorly, with vast concrete parking lots and require expanded highways. They are also cheaply built and are very ugly, in my opinion. It sure ain’t no Rotunda.

    I don’t mind Target, if you want my opinion. I’d just like to see a better design, for example, the Target on Peachtree Rd. in Buckhead, Georgia. It is a two-story Target and is situated in a complex of two or three other major retailers along with a parking garage incorporated into the mix. The "footprint" is very small, thus they didn’t have to chop down so many trees or pave over a bunch of stuff.

    Building **up**, not **out** (ie. sprawl out) is what I’m for.

  44. Actually, if the BOS had denied the growth, that would be the people (as the BOS represents the people) getting what they want. What’s wrong with that?

  45. I want better design and if it LEGAL for me to speak out on this, then I will. And if I personally had the power to block the dude from putting some atrociously ugly building there, I would. Call it a dictatorship if you like.

  46. That’s a nice idea, but it won’t work… b/c the land value is not worth the expense of building up. And even if you could "encourage" the mega-store corporate officers to do so, you still have not solved the trafiic problem, which is 3 times as bad on 29N since I moved here 5 years ago.

  47. The stupid thing about this argument is, I don’t really disagree with you as to how growth should be done. But my position is that the people of a community should get to decide, in the end, what they want. Hence, voting, and democratic processes. I don’t impose my views on others because I respect that they have their own opinions. Apparently, you don’t.

  48. "…b/c the land value is not worth the expense of building up."

    Explain further.

  49. So, by your thinking, one day the BOS votes for growth, anf that ‘represents’ the people, another day, maybe, against, and that too represents the people.

    Tell me, do they have some kind of Matrix-like link to our inner energies and thoughts? God damn it, they’re REAL GOOD.

  50. How am I **imposing** my views on someone by talking about what I want to see done? Talk about a dictatorship… Right to free speech? Anyone???

  51. Guess what – I don’t get squat from Mom and Pop Inc. that I don’t get from Target. But. what I DO get from Target is more selection and lower prices (often.)

    So, please explain to me what money we receive from a “local” business that we don’t receive from a large chain? Property taxes? Sales tax? Salaries? Business licenses? What?

    At the risk of being condescending, you should take an economics class or read a book on economics. (FWIW, I’ve never taken an economics class. But I am registered for one. :)

    In a nutshell: Money that you spend at, say, Chaps Ice Cream goes to Tony, who owns it. Tony lives here in town. He uses that income to buy cream to make ice cream, which he buys from a distributor here in town that buys it from central Virginia dairies. (Note that I’m making all of this up.) He uses his personal income from the business to pay his mortgage, because he lives in town. That mortgage is with Virginia National Bank. VNB uses that interest to fund their bank, including funding business loans. One of those loans went to Drew, which he’s used to expand Rapture. Rapture buys their ice cream from Chaps.

    Or you could buy your ice cream from Kroger. That money goes to Breyer’s, owned by Unilever, a Dutch company, and the profit goes to Kroger, in Ohio. A small percentage — minimum wage — goes to employees. The vast majority of that $4 is gone.

    I hope that makes sense.

  52. Well, all major corporations have site studies done before they commit to anything. The moto is: "there’s more opportunity than there’s money". They go to specialized houses like MPSI, or they spit out Equifax data sets. They put the demographics, economics, trends and projections through their computer models and bingo, the answer is in plain Courrier New.

    So, the vlaue of land being a proportion (ratio) to the building investment, nothing in Albemarle county would qualify (except maybe on Monticello moutain).

    There are other solutions, young Padoowan, that ye seek…

  53. Perhaps I have unfairly lumped you in with the more extremist posters. If so, I shouldn’t have.

    I certainly don’t think that people should be unable to post their beliefs. But I don’t like it when various individuals flame the "average guy" for liking chain restaurants, big box retailers. That’s his choice, not yours. If everyone around you really likes Applebee’s, don’t cry when one shows up on the corner. Just don’t go to it.

  54. If they don’t do what you want, they don’t keep their jobs. Plain and simple. If you want a true democracy, instead of a republic, move to ancient Greece.

  55. You still believe in those fairy tales? I guess I should let you mature on your loner. You certainly don’t need me to lift your milky veil.

  56. Since I don’t know mmike87 and I don’t know anything about how he earns his living, I can’t comment specifically on how he gets his portion of the profits from local businesses. I can speak about how I get mine, though.

    I run a local service business. I employ local workers. My business generates a fair amount of cash. I do my banking with Virginia National Bank, a locally owned business. I’m a stockholder in Virginia National Bank. They make money and I make money. I spend my money at locally-owned businesses who also bank with Virginia National. They make more money. I make more money.

    Shopping local keeps a greater percentage of money circulating in the local community. That doesn’t mean I accept substandard services and products or pay outrageous prices. In most cases, I can find them locally – restaurants, produce, book and music retailers, banks, mechanics…

    Spending money can be an ethical, as well as a financial choice. I only suggest that "finding the best deal" isn’t only a matter of the cheapest price.

  57. I heard the CIA put a chip in your brain so it can read your thoughts. You should check that out.

  58. So, please explain to me what money we receive from a “local” business that we don’t receive from a large chain? Property taxes? Sales tax? Salaries? Business licenses? What?

    That’s a good point. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll receive far, far more tax and related revenues from having more large chains. Large chains attract shoppers from a regional base, whereas most local shops don’t, and those that do certainly don’t have the marketing wherewithal to pursue shoppers from outlying areas. Stores like Target and Best Buy will blanket the region with ads that will bring people here to spend their money. Those ads will increase local revenues as well, because they’ll be spending their money with WVIR, Eure, Clear Channel, the Progress, C-ville, The Hook, and wherever else they can.

    And after those people finish shopping at Target and buying their dinner at Olive Garden, they’ll head for home, leaving their cash behind – much of which will find its way to local salaries and various local tax coffers. Best of all, we won’t have to house them or educate them. They call that soft money, and it’s the best kind to have.

    Local businesses are crucial to the quality of life, and here’s hoping every single one of them survives and thrives by devising ways to attract the increased shopper base we’re bound to attract.

  59. So, what exactly have Target, Best Buy, others done to incur your wrath? Where’s the "bullying" of which you speak?

  60. ha ha ha. you’re in good form! anywho, it made sense to me! do I get brownie points in my Chaps Ice Cream?

  61. Have you ever heard of market saturation? When everyone has their Targé, they ain’t coming no mo’.

    Do you follow corporate economics? Mickey D, for instance, has zero growth in the states, b/c they’ve blanketed everything. They’re in deep doodoo, and so are the fat Americans lapping them up.

    You shouldn’t believe everything you read, you know.

  62. <I>They are also cheaply built and are very ugly, in my opinion. It sure ain’t no Rotunda.</I>

    Actually, if I remember correctly, I believe Target agreed to rather expensive design elements they have never employed before to make their facade appear "Jeffersonian." I believe the whole center is to have that sort of flavor. Now, I’m not sure that means it’s going to seem like walking down the lawn, but let’s at least give them credit for making some design concessions. It may not be much, but it’s a start, yes?

  63. I don’t like the way they’ve destroyed the local TV repair shop for instance. We all drive to these big mega-crap outlets to talk to minimum wage people who can hardly even spell the brand names they sell. Fuggedaboud asking for real info.

    And I don’t like that Atlanta, GA, or Denver, CO looks exactly like Richmond, VA (and soon cville, VA).

    Do you know how long it took me to figure out which turn to make on 29N? Everything looks so pathetically the same. Luckily we have the hump at Rio road, ‘cuz otherwise I’d be rotating another 5 times trying to find that movie house for the kid’s show.

    Just for kicks: ask for direction a few times in the next week. Most of the time, folks will use "landmarks" such as Burger King and Taco Bell as their preferred reference point. Let’s just all hail the Matrix now and get it over with!

  64. It may not be much, but it’s a start, yes?

    Corrected: It may not be much, yes?

  65. I certainly agree with you that some chains are necessary. They are, to use the lingo of shopping centers, the anchors that get people into town in the first place. Once we have ’em sucked in, then we can get them into our local stores. :)

  66. TV repair shops around here suck and at current prices anything but a plasma screen is a throw away. Best Buy is a great retailer. They own their market by doing it better than anyone else.

  67. I believe that one of the most frustrating aspect of this chain-based growth (“We cannot survive as a city without a Target™!”) is that it makes us identical to every other city in the country. We’ve all had the experience of driving through other towns and thinking “wow, this is just like 29 north.” The same chains are in every one of hundreds or towns throughout the country. The more of these that we have in Charlottesville, the less the local places that we’ll have, and the more that we will resemble the rest of the country. Why anybody would want to visit a town that’s just like the rest of the country, least of all live there, is lost on me.

    But, hey, it would help with our growth problem. :)

  68. And when you go to any Best Buy anywhere else notice how it becomes a totally trashy, dirty, cheap-ass-lookin’ store after the first month or two. But whatever. As long as you can save two dollars on a CD. Enjoy your shopping experience.

  69. I personally don’t have any venom for the Hollymead Town Center, but I would prefer to see more growth that employs professionals in Charlottesville. A shopping center that employs minimum wage and a handful of lower management positions isn’t needed in this community. While the area has lost several employers in the last few years, we could use more options or professional (well paid, that is) employment. There is a possibility that Hollymead will be helpful to filling out the North Fork Research Park, but I don’t know for certain.

    Of course, my view on this is somewhat colored by the fact that I’m actively looking for employment, so take it with a grain of salt.

  70. I go all the time and I don’t notice anything you see. I will concede that you may be an expert on cheap ass lookin. It’s clean, organized and if I only want a cd I’m in and out in a flash. I’m buying art not basking in it.

    Plan Nine makes it easier to hear an offbeat Cd and I am a patron. However if I want the newest radiohead and can save some money why not. Plan Nine is a smaller chain and does it job well, Best Buy woops up on Circuit City because it does everything better.

    The problem with your logic is that the food supermarket with it’s cheap prices and fantastic selection is bad compared with the local grocer. This defies the truth in so many ways. Everyone in america has benefited from the supermarket and the best supermarkets make the worse compete or go out of business.

  71. You know, all the whiners complain about traffic, yet want you to goto 10 different local shops scattered around town to do your shopping.

    hahahahaha!!! so true!


  72. would it make you feel better if they dug up TJ, reanimated him, and let him design the target?

  73. Thank you for **conceding** that I am an expert. Then you agree with me. You’re the best.

    "Everyone in america has benefited from the supermarket and the best supermarkets make the worse compete or go out of business."

    Not so fast, cowboy. Don’t speak for all in America. Speak for yourself. Your average chain grocery store is as unattractively designed as the next Best Buy.

  74. Watch out: it shows you buy cheap.

    This is yet another whole discussion: the throw-away mentality. So, when your el cheapo TV breaks, are you the one that’s throwing them out on our country roads?

  75. Waldo,

    #1: You are making the incorrect assumption that the ONLY jobs available for chains are minimum wage jobs. There are managerial positions that pay a lot better.

    #2: You are neglecting the benefits of a large chain store… a chain store will be able to ride out bad economic times, where as a local store will have a higher chance to go out of business during recessions.

    #3: Larger chains can offer better benefits, even to the minimum wage employees. For example, when I worked for Sam’s Club, we had a employee stock purchase program with a matching contribution from the company. I, as a part-time employee (which was actually more than minimum wage, BTW) was able to have a specified amount of my paycheck automatically withheld and put into Wal-Mart stock; Wal-Mart would match 15%. Show me a local company that can offer those sorts of benefits. Also, if you worked full-time, you had access to medical benefits as well. Can local shops provide that level of benefits?

    #4: I don’t see how a single local store with their minimum-wage employees is somehow better than a chain store’s minimum-wage employees, if they are both making minimum wage. Also, a chain store can hire many more employees (both minimum wage and managerial) than a single local store.

    #5: Have you ever bought anything from Crutchfield or Musictoday? They may be "local" for Charlottesville, but if everyone thought the way you did, then neither of these companies would be able to hire as many people as they do. Thus, our local economy would be hurt because people with your point of view wouldn’t buy from us because we’re not "local" for them.

    #6: Your economic model here is very basic. You are assuming that Charlottesville is in an economic bubble… unless the town was a complete self-contained commune, there will ALWAYS be a flow of money both in and out of the local economy. Even a local bookstore has to buy books from a regional or national distributor; so in that case the difference between the percentage of a book sale from a local shop and a Barnes and Noble is negligible… if both shops have a cost of $20 for the book, and they both mark it up to $30, then the $20 leaves the local economy regardless. The rest of the markup is eaten up by the cost of selling the book (store rent, power, salary, etc.) and by the time you get down to the pure "profit" on the book, you’re talking about $1, which is not going to have a large effect on the local economy whether it goes to Joe Localbusinessowner or Joe CorporateFatCat.

    I agree that there should be a balance of big-box chain stores and unique local stores; however, I don’t think Charlottesville is close to having "too many" big chain stores.


    (p.s. — I was an econ major ;) )

    (p.p.s. — What econ class are you registered for? I highly recommend you take a Law and Econ class or a Economics of Public Policy class… it is VERY enlightening if you are interested in government.)

  76. It’s the never ending story. If you list the details, the big-box stores will trump the small-business stores in most every economically measurable way. For both employees and customers.

    So what’s the problem, you say? The problem is with the intangibles. Big box stores are uniform, monotonous, lacking creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and are a spiritual dead-end. You’ll most likely reply that work is to pay the bills and you can be creative after work, but that’s not how life works.

    So, you can go on reasoning how army ants are much more ‘logical’ than the plethora of other insects being ravaged by the ant colonies, but when all is conquered, where next? I’ll tell you where: most U.S. major corps. are looking overseas, especially China right now, to fill the eternal cycle of growth requirements. When they’re done with China, and the rest of the world in the latter part of the 21st century, where next?????

    Of course, who was it saying they don’t care because they won’t be around then? Mmike? Big_Al or DaManl? The Native Americans (many tribes, at least) we conquered over 2 centuries ago (observe our tendencies already then…) were apt at seeking a balance with Nature. I can clearly see you folks have very little of those archetypes left in you.

  77. Everyone in america has benefited from the supermarket

    That’s true. Provided that you believe that American farmers are, in fact, in Japan.

  78. hahaha…that’s really funny. when was the last time you went into a "mom and pop" restaurant, store, etc. in this town that DIDN’T look hella ghetto? you’re either a dinosaur, or an uber elitist, or both, who thinks that your shit don’t stink because you buy your doilies from a hole-in-the-wall instead of bed, bath and beyond. i for one am glad they’re building the target, if for no other reason that to think about how much it’ll piss you off every time you drive by it!

  79. not true…big chains employ more people than small mom and pops. those employees, regardless of how much they’re making, are going to redistribute their earnings throughout the community. mom and pops are smaller and employ fewer people. bigger stores means more jobs, and given the fact that unemployment is at an all time high, i think more jobs to go around is a good thing.

  80. You’re happy if it pisses people off? That’s why you want it? You’re not so much a fair child as you are a dark monster.

  81. Big box stores are uniform, monotonous, lacking creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and are a spiritual dead-end.

    Do you really look to commercial enterprise as a source of spiritual fulfillment?

  82. "… if for no other reason that to think about how much it’ll piss you off every time you drive by it!"

    Good to know you feel that way. Since you are such a spiteful, person, I won’t feel the need to respond to your posts in the future. Your comments have been reduced in their integrity by the above remark, so essentially anything that comes out of your mouth means absolutely nothing.

  83. That’s a good point (both regarding economics and that I shouldn’t believe everything I read!), but don’t you think we’re in a pretty nice geographic situation here? It’s highly unlikely that somebody like Target is going to be opening any outlets in Greene, Madison, Louisa, Orange, Fluvanna, Nelson, Buckingham, or Augusta Counties anytime in the foreseeable future.

    In the county in NC where my folks used to live, they used to thrive on the furniture and textile industries. Over the past 15 years or so, the furniture market has diminished greatly, and the textile inductry done got up and went overseas as soon as NAFTA was signed, leaving behind abandoned factories and thousands of unemployed locals.

    The County made a decision to become the regional shopping and dining destination, and pretty much designated hundreds of acres along a then-dying corridor to that end. They did a pretty good job planning everything after a couple years of admittedly poor thinking, and now they’re drawing a tremendous number of shoppers, the county’s economy is out of the shitter for the most part, and they’ve made major investments in education and infrastructure while their property tax rates have actually gone down.

    So it can be done, and it can be done right. It can also be done wrong. It’s looking like we’re somewhere in the middle.

  84. Why, you don’t? [I was anticipating this sort of gibe]

    Let’s just put it this way: how many waking hours do you spend at work? If 9 hours per day, 5 days per week, and this is a minimum, is used as a standard, that shows:

    9×5 = 45 out of a possible 112 waking hrs per week, that’s over 40% of your time at work!!! Now, most folks work more than that, and much of the rest of the time, they’re busy doing menial things like laundry and stuff (like traffic from suburban shopping), so in truth, it’s easily half of your life.

    Don’t you think it’s time you considered your work as a spiritual endeavor? No? I guess maybe that’s why some of us make more money than others…

  85. Call me naive, but I think both Economics 101 and common sense suggest that if there wasn’t a sufficient market for these national chains and big boxes, developers wouldn’t be building them. Isn’t that the bottom line?

    er, no… why is the developer’s bottom line the same as the public’s?

  86. But what if those local business owners spend their money at lowes or wal mart? Then its gone.

    The very idea that you can keep money in a geographic area is absurd. And isolating an area economically is death.

    All closed systems proceed toward entropy. It’s as simple as that.

  87. What is cville’s economic power house?

    The university? Our various small industrial companies like sperry or comdial? Nope.

    The fact is we’re mostly a tourist powered city. That means STORES and RESTARAUNTS are our source of incoming money.

    If you dont allow development, we’ll become a crowded and unappealing place for people visiting. If they come here and find crowded stores and a lack of chains that they can recognize from home, they’ll feel confused and not spend their money. The whole POINT of chain stores is that you can go into ANY mcfood place and KNOW what you’ll find inside before you even get there. With local businesses you have to ask some guy on the side of the road "whats a good place to eat around here?" and even then you have to have tastes that match his. There is a reason local residents own chain stores, they know that they’ll do more tourist business than if they slap up a "eat at joe’s" sign.

    You’re just going to strangle yourself. Thinking only of your residency, and not thinking of our actual economic machine. You live in a tourist trap. Telling people who want more development to move someplace else is silly, its the development that has made us what we are today. Those who want no development are the ones who should move.

  88. With local businesses you have to ask some guy on the side of the road “whats a good place to eat around here?” and even then you have to have tastes that match his.

    What’s your point? Isn’t that what smart people do? You have accepted the “ugly American” paradigm as if this is a universal truth we should all aspire to. Bull crap. Tourism means ‘to tour’. Let the fat asses that want McFood make their own town look like shit. We don’t need that here.

  89. Trust me, when Targé has run out of Albemarles, and it will soon, then Greene, Madison, Louisa, Orange (maybe not the rest, as they are so unpopulous) are next on the list. You see, it’s a war between Wal-Muck and Targé. Look at the fast food joints and that’s what we’ll see in a decade or so from the retailers.

    Look, Albemarle is a precious commodity for these behemoths. I’m not saying don’t have them, I’m saying don’t let them all move to 29N and let’s make them concede to as many concessions to our way of life as they’ll accept. And trust me, we can ask much much much more than Jeffersonian façades.

  90. cowboy?

    If you don’t think that food prices are cheaper, quality higher, and selection wider then this thread must end. That’s what the supermarket has done for all americans, except those who raise and grow all their food.

  91. Damn, you caught me. I meant to say 97% of americans, who aren’t farmers have benefited from the supermarket and the economies of scale it bought to the american food chain.

  92. Yeah, and that’s why those supermarket tomatoes are now unedible, er, I mean, have no taste. And that’s for 100% of Americans.

  93. If you don’t think that food prices are cheaper, quality higher, and selection wider then this thread must end. That’s what the supermarket has done for all americans, except those who raise and grow all their food.

    * Cheaper? maybe, maybe not (depends on what the supermarkets are pushing at any particular point in time)

    * Higher quality? nope, not even a chance. try a farmer’s market tomato or cucumber. see? isn’t that a big difference?

    * wider selection? yep, you got it there. you can buy strawberries all time of year. but you know what, consult the food experts, like me, for instance, and you’ll hear “buy seasonal foods when you can”

  94. "If they come here and find crowded stores and a lack of chains that they can recognize from home, they’ll feel confused and not spend their money."

    You are sooooooo off the mark with this statement. People visit tourist cities because they want to see what IS NOT in their home town, ie. the Rotunda, the University, Monticello, Ash Lawn, vineyards, specialty bed and breakfasts etc. They don’t come to Charlottesville because there is a Target, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, or Quality Inn. If the tourists wanted that then why not stay home.

    MAN. I can’t BELIEVE that you have come up with that logic.

  95. Then this thread must end. All I’m saying is, speak for yourself, don’t make these blanket comments ie. "supermarkets are the best for all Americans."

  96. Excuse me, who said that supermarkets are best for all americans?you not me

    "Everyone in america has benefited from the supermarket". that’s the phrase and it also means that just because you may have gotten a slight, indirect benefit it still might not be "best" for all.

    to quote you "All I’m saying is, speak for yourself, don’t make these blanket comments "

  97. This discussion is really about human fulfillment and dreams. We are a rich nation; the richest by many measures in the whole wide world. What we choose to do with our resources and riches *defines* who we are. Do not listen to the demagogues telling us that all we are doing is responding to demographics! If we willingly accept the de facto standard for American lifestyle circa 2003, then we willingly succumb to baseness and mediocrity.

    Many will contest my assessment that suburban Richmond, or for that matter, almost every large urban area except the mega-dense Manhattan, is a disgrace to our very higher ideals and aspirations. Many will say these concerns are not of the common man or woman. If that is true, then we are doomed, as I think we are. Doomed to survival and not “épanouissement” (French for blossoming).

    What is distinctive about Charlottesville? It’s a small mid-size town with great historical significance. It is nestled in the foothills of a very old mountain range, with abundant water spots. It has a variable yet relatively mild climate. It has one of the best *public* universities in America. It has as many good to excellent restaurants per capita than even the most renowned eatery cities in the world, all of which are privately owned small-businesses. This all adds up to a die-hard tradition of good lifestyle. And dying hard it is.

    When I moved to Charlottesville 5 years ago from the Tidewater area, I was escaping away from a consistent lack of excellence. Virginia Beach was no different from Jacksonville or Daytona in Florida. At the time, I was more concerned with building my net worth and the convenience of driving 5 miles to unending shopping. But once I had succeeded to a relative degree, when I could afford more leisurely activities and assets, I started noticing things. Every store was carrying the same merchandise, mainly el cheapo stuff. Even the “high-end” stores were really not providing much real choice. I started observing a lack of genuinely interesting eateries with very few exceptions. The term “consumer” started aggressing me, as consumerism was reduced to a lowest common denominator. Even the people, I now realized more acutely, were hardly ever there for more than a few years. Practically all the folks I befriended had moved elsewhere. The backyard barbecues were forever boring me: the women talked incessantly about their kids, and the guys were just playing guys (sports, sports, a couple of republican chides, and more sports). At the end of every gathering, there was a bit of sexual jesting and then everyone went home at 10PM!?!?

    For personal reasons, I had to stay close by Tidewater, so I chose Charlottesville. Well, although not Nirvana, the little town that could was indeed a little different. But what I saw just a few years back is starting to be chipped away progressively by the overwhelming forces of normality and laxity. So, even though so many of young cvillians – just like myself almost 2 decades ago – cannot see why adding a Best Buy or a Target shopping center in the designated growth area (29N) have such formidable implications, they do nonetheless.

    Indeed, we cannot contain everything and we must deal with growth issues and such, but it is imperative, IMHO, to move forward in an original way. Let Nova and Richmond be the models for standardized globalization, but allow Charlottesville and surroundings to be an innovative and unique place to live.


  98. Look, if someone drives past a store that says "cville stuff" they wont know whats inside it. They dont even KNOW they want whats inside.

    The REASON mcdonalds exists is so people know what to expect when they go inside. People like familiarity. Thats why every city in america looks exactly like houston.

    Sure, people come to see some unique things (mostly their kids in college) but while they’re here they still want things that are easy for them to understand. A little bit of home.

    You can go to MOSCOW and find a mcdonalds. And you obviously could eat there at home, but while you’re there, you wander in because at least you can read the menu.

  99. "Everyone in america has benefited from the supermarket". Do you even understand what you are saying? You have mad a generalized statement here. EVERYONE IN AMERICA HAS BENEFITED FROM THE SUPERMARKET. Maybe I don’t believe that **I** have benefited from the supermarket. And maybe there are other people out there who believe the same thing. Maybe, maybe not. But I don’t speak for them and you shouldn’t either. Just because you say **everyone** doesn’t make it so. You have zero facts and figures to back up your blanket statement, whereas I am speaking as a matter of opinion.

  100. Not quite. Nobody goes to New York City because they know that its going to be so familiar to home and "Guess what dear! They’ve got a McDonald’s! It lik3 we never left home!"

    No. They go to places like NYC because they know they are going to see what isn’t where they are at. McDonalds and Target and Holiday Inn in themselves are not attractions as you make them out to be. They are byproducts of the Anywhere, USA mentality of the corporations who seemingly run our lives.

    So what? So McDonalds is familiar? Big deal. It’s familiar enough for me to know that if I eat there it will be unhealthy for me, so therefore I don’t. How does that play into your little "tourism-familiarity-McDonalds" arguement? And if I’m a tourist and I see a Target in NYC, I don’t think I would shop there because I’d know that there’s probably one back home within a 50 mile driving distance. I wouldn’t waste my time as a tourist shopping there. Do you see where I’m going here?

  101. mmike… does Best Buy post signs that literally mention constitutional rights (or lack thereof)?

    That’s amazing.

    Of the three major developments, I would rather not see any of them go in, but (I think) I can live with them. My biggest fear is the precedent these shopping centers set. Then again, the precedent has been set for years with Albemarle Square, Rio Hills, Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, etc.

    Best Buy, on the other hand, is absolutely horrific on a traffic standpoint alone. Getting on the 250 bypass at 5:00 PM is hard enough as it is. Adding a big box there, whatever new entrances they add, is sheer idiocy. I wasn’t a big fan of Best Western or Aunt Sarah’s, but the certainly didn’t draw a large amount of traffic.

  102. When I travel, I intentionally look for places that are unusual.

    For example, when I recently went to rural South Carolina to do some research, I stayed in a bed and breakfast, despite the presence of a Days Inn in town. I ate at a local pub, despite the presence of national chain restaurants. I stopped at Super Wal-Mart only because there were no other alternatives in town and only because I needed sunblock (their selection was amazingly horrible). I did each lunch one day at Sonic, because, guess what, there isn’t a Sonic (that I’m aware of) in this area. Thus, Sonic was a unique experience for me, not one I can get where I live. There’s absolutely no point in leaving home to go home.

    Lars, we don’t have a Six Flags here. We don’t have an NFL team. We have no big beaches. We have, like it or not, more intellectual tourist attractions. Homes of Presidents, architecture, etc. I’m generalizing here, but the types of people who are stimulated by book festivals and Presidential peacocks are going to be bored by McDonalds and Taco Bell and Barnes & Noble. It’s easy enough to find out about local restaurants (a newspaper, phone book, hotel desk clerk or stroll down the downtown mall is plenty). Your example of visiting parents as people who will crave familiarity is bizarre. As parents of students, they will, presumably, have access to at least one person that knows local stores and restaurants and who just happens to be acquainted with the parents’ tastes and will likely even share those tastes. Wow.

  103. There’s a Sonic in Lynchburg and they have nice smoothies! But I’m glad to read you and Indie know what "tourism" entails.

    Unfortunately, Lars is not all wrong. I wish he were’nt and I wish you were the majority, but let’s face it, the majority is not so interested in discovering or looking for originality or specificity.

    But the good news is we don’t have to cater to the "majority". That’s were success lies! Niche markets have and will always be playing by different rules. What we need is city and county officials that know this. The problem (I’m sorry for being so pessimistic and schizo) is that the ‘majority’ has been creeping in the area and they’re the ones electing and voicing their requirements.

    Vicious circle anyone?

  104. From new ways to perserve food and deliver it. Advance in scanning (upc codes) inventory control, transportation, and other technologies all popularized in and for the supermarket. Then turn to the macro of food cost, year round growing season, selection, and improved purity. Also the supermarkets drove the FDA to increase and improve safety testing . Is it perfect no. These are my facts

    Rant and rail about your farmers market and the the taste of tomatoes, the truth still remains that EVERYONE has benefited, albeit indirectly , from the supermarket

  105. Wow, I went to the beach and missed this 100+ thread about my favorite subject on CVilleNews. MAN, I wish I had a lap top.

    Oh well!

    BTW, I had to go through F-burg and NoVA to get to Ocean City. And again I believe I am right! We were NEVER be a NoVA in a 100 years. The traffic blew up there but Cville isn’t that big of a city so one LITTLE shopping center won’t make us into them.

  106. Well then! We should rename this webboard "IamDaMan (1,2,3) Is Always Right" and just thank our lucky stars that you are sharing your well-earned wisdom gained through travels to Ocean City, MD with us!!

  107. I’ve read a post I enjoyed more. It is of course the balance of Charlottesville uniqueness to it’s wants and needs. Having a Target is not evil unless it leads to the destruction of open lands. I think almost all would agree that if Roses or Kmart left it would be great to re-develop them as Target.

    I too came from Tidewater and it has always been bland and with the exception of the re-birth of Ghent, a completely soulless place with little good food.

    I believe we have good laws that make the area look as good as "legally" possible. Our signs have gotten smaller, higher levels of control as to materials, color, and design have improve the face of Albemarle/Charlottesville.

    Other than the traffic problem the Best Buy will look better than what it replaces. Barracks Rd shopping center looks much better today then it did 20 years ago so does downtown. No one cried when the Drive-in became Krogers but tears where shed when the Carvan "home of the humpburger" became Brown’s used cars. But we can’t always choice which businesses come here. For example I don’t think Bagel chain would have a chance here but would love to have a Resoration Hardware.

    This is an imperfect process. I love the look of this town but I hate going to Richmond to shop at Best Buy and Target. Added bonus a Target here will hurt Wal-Mart, which alot of people seem to dislike. But Best Buy might put the hurt on Crutchfield’s and that would be bad.

  108. One little shopping center? I believe we are talking about three shopping centers, four if you count Best Buy, and the smallest of the three is nearly 100 acres. I wouldn’t call that one little shopping center.

    I also don’t believe that all four of the shopping centers will make us into NOVA, it’s just four more steps in the road to becoming NOVA.

  109. “Why, that’s just one drop of rain. There’s no way that enough of those could ever fall to make a flood!”

  110. 1. Everybody that I know that works or has worked for retail chains are not / was not paid well. I have no idea if this adequately represents a decent cross-section of the pay scale or not.

    2. The downside of working for a big chain in the sense of riding out hard times is that the economic effects on the community when that chain is in trouble is far greater than if that employment was spread out. Consider Crozet after Con Agra closed the doors there, or Stanardsville after Nimbus shut down recently. Ther are two sides to that particular economic coin.

    3. I can’t speak to the benefits package available at chains vs. local businesses, but I do know that nearly every local business with which I’m familiar offers nice benefit packages to full time employees. (That’s no more than a couple of dozen businesses.) I’m not sure that I’ve ever discussed the matter of part time employees. It’s nice that Sam’s Club treats their employees so nicely, but I gather that’s somewhat of an exceptional example. Again, though, I don’t have any particular knowledge on the matter of benefits at local vs. chain businesses.

    4. A single local store is superior to a single chain store, because the profits from that store are remaining in the area.

    5. You are correct that if everybody only shopped local, then our major local/national businesses (Crutchfield and Musictoday) would suffer. But this really isn’t relevant, because everybody <i>doesn’t</i> think like this, and I only want Charlottesvillians to think like this. :) I just don’t believe that there’s any danger of localized commercial xenophobia becoming so severe that it results in national economic problems.

    6. You’re right, I have simplified things. This is because I’m not writing a novel on the topic, just posting to a discussion board. :)

    I find interesting your comment regarding Charlottesville not being close to having too many big chain stores. How would you know when there were too many? I ask because I’m not sure how to establish that, myself, but I believe that we’re certainly moving far too close to the "having too many" point, myself.

    I’d tell you what econ class that I’m taken, but VT’s class scheduling program on their website isn’t working right now, and I can’t remember what I signed up for. :)

    My apologies for my brief and shallow response, Rob, but I’ve been hoping for time to write a more extensive one, and it just hasn’t come.

  111. Like the immortal George Carlin once said:

    America is becoming a bunch of pussies! Take a chance once and a while and LIVE!

    *excuse la francois* :P

  112. I’ve corrected the story to credit "I think a big box is OK" to Charles Martin instead of Dennis Rooker. Thanks to countyguy who pointed out that the Progress ran a correction on that.

  113. "America is becoming a bunch of pussies!"

    Whaaa! I’m entitled to my SUV! Gimmee my Target! I must shop there and no where else b/c I’m a big p***y!

  114. Ah, I see.

    I was looking at your comment from a consumer perspective, and found it curious to suggest that one could get any more spiritually fulfilled by crossing items off of a shopping list at Target than one could by taking that same shopping list to a number of a number of smaller, "local" stores.

    Looking at it from the store employee perspective, it seems to me that if an employee is seeking "spiritual" fulfillment from his/her work (what is this anyway? satisfaction of a job well done? good feeling from serving others?), then he/she should be able to find it as easily by working in a large box store as anywhere else. If you’re looking for more than that, you’re looking in the wrong place.

  115. Have you really thought about what you are saying? Or are you just trying to post a response? I mean, do I even have to try to prove my point? Look at the people working at Wal*Mart and Sam’s. How often do they look like they’re doing something fulfilling? Isn’t it very rare to find a helpful person there? Now go to a local clothing store, or the local hardware store or any other small business that has been able to survive until now the onslaught of the "low low low price" chains. You’ll often find much more well-balanced and interesting folk. Spiritually more enlightened, if you wish.

  116. You’re absolutely correct. We should eliminate employment opportunities for all non- "well-balanced and interesting" folk, and send them back to the hills and hollers from whence they came. Shame on them for not being more spiritually enlightened.

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