Communities Forsaking Local Businesses To Attract Chain Stores
Sugarhouse is a local suburban district of Salt Lake City. The area which was struggling 20 years ago with many run-down homes, vacancies and low property values metaverse coin is today thriving. As part of a national trend, people are once again moving in closer to cities and fixing up the older homes that offer more character than your typical new stucco, aluminum clad home. The homes in this area are 50-year-old bungalows and the neighborhood is today a hot area.
For a few years the business district of Sugarhouse wasn’t really following suite however in the past two years, the center of Sugarhouse, called the Granite block, has filled in completely with local shops and pedestrian traffic. Soren Simonson, a newly elected Salt Lake City Council Member who works in urban planning and development says, ” One of the interesting things about Sugarhouse is that people from Idaho to Nevada to Arizona look at Sugarhouse as a model for a walkable community.”
Most area residents agree that it is these small local shops that make the area what it is: charming and quaint. However, recently home real-estate values have skyrocketed and many residents of the area have been cashing in by flipping their homes reaping big profits. Today many business landowners are cashing in as well. More and more local shops are being sold by landlords for redevelopment for greater profit potential.
Its clear to see the landowners incentives, if they ask local merchants to vacate and demolish their older buildings they can reap great rewards by rebuilding bigger, newer buildings. However the new tenants are almost never local merchants. The last new development in Sugarhouse attracted only chain stores. Piccadilly Fish & Chips was torn down to build a large retail environment that now houses an AT&T cellular phone store, a Pancake House chain, Bajio, Pe Wie and a Paridise Bakery. These businesses all seem to be thriving, so why are area residents protesting and complaining?
Because the economic facts are clear: chain stores provide forty percent fewer dollars back into the local economy than local shops. When a chain store opens shop in a area sixty percent of the profit goes back to the National headquarters only forty percent is redistributed locally. However this isn’t the community member’s main complaint about the redevelopment.
The over-flow crowd at the last Salt Lake City Council meeting made a clear statement to the representatives who they had elected: people don’t like what is happening. Out with the old, in with the