The Wellington is definitely done—they haven't been open for weeks. The space next to Angie's has had zero action on it. The pet store moved and the butcher shop seems to be undergoing some sort of renovation (hopefully that's all it is)…anyone have any ideas or input or theories as to what's going on with any of the places…or for that matter, CC businesses in general?
The pet store moved because they lost their lease (and Annette sold the retail part to the gal that runs the grooming business). I don't think their new location will be very lucrative. It's hard to access and traffic on Rainier waiting to turn onto Alaska pretty much obliterates any curb appeal. I was told the bakery will be taking over the back area of Pet Elegance to expand their baking facilities. The front area of Pet Elegance will be leased out to a retail business. The loss of Pet Elegance will effect retail business. It provided, for me, a fairly regular excuse to go to Columbia City—to get my dog groomed and/or buy dogfood, etc. I almost always stopped into a few of the other stores while there.
That's why I'm concerned that the developer of the new building is looking at a boutique grocery with pedestrian appeal. Something along the lines of a Trader Joe's would bring shoppers into the area on a regular basis. I doubt I'd make very many special trips to shop a boutique grocery.
I think the overall downturn in the economy is hurting business in general. We have not eaten out in months. I do try and shop in CC whenever I need to buy a gift (gallery, retrokids, andaluz, etc.). I don't always find what I'm looking for, but at least I look there first. This is going to be a tough time for small businesses, so everyone should make the effort to support them first.
I thought Trader Joe's WAS a boutique grocery.
Anonymous wrote: "I think the overall downturn in the economy is hurting business in general. We have not eaten out in months. I do try and shop in CC whenever I need to buy a gift (gallery, retrokids, andaluz, etc.). I don't always find what I'm looking for, but at least I look there first. This is going to be a tough time for small businesses, so everyone should make the effort to support them first."
Thanks for posting this. Yes, the USA is in recession, despite what the news media reports. Our standard of living is dropping like a rock. When annual inflation of the US dollar is at 16% and rising, when GDP is below 1% every year for 6 years, when gas, medical and food prices are skyrocketing and Medicare and social security have already been spent — you know something has to give. This means consumers are going to tighten their spending on a considerable scale.
Rainier businesses (and all uS businesses, for that matter) will feel the pinch. Empty Rainier storefronts may be the norm in the coming years. I say "years" because the cause of this inflation is primarily due to the US paying for endless war, through the dilution of the US dollar. And considering how the mainstream media is pumping the "top three" presidential candidates who are all ultimately supported by pro-war corporate interests, the inflation of the US dollar will likely continue to spiral out of control for years to come.
Business owners and communities would do well to understand how to position themselves accordingly. No one will be shopping locally to save money if they can't afford to. The consumer price breaks will be found at large corporate outlets. I predict that such consumer behavior will serve to invite big discount retail stores to the area, rather than small businesses that serve the local community. This has been happening across the US for years already. In a prolonged recession, this process will accelerate.
The idealistic, unorganized work of the few will not be enough to effectively reduce the tide of the masses. This is why pre-planning is so necessary. What can be done, and which groups are talking about these things?
The Wellington sold. There's now a sign up in the window and yesterday there were some people poking around inside with blueprints. Anyone know anything?
According to the folks at the bakery, a new Caribbean restaurant is going into the Wellington's old site…they didn't know the name, but they did say it is a business that has at least one other location. Anyone know more?
Rob Mohn says it's Casuelitas.
That's kind of sad as we already have a GREAT Caribbean restaurant in the neighborhood—Kallaloo. A good Asian restaurant would have filled out our diversity better. A gardening center or some other specialty store would have been nice too. I'd love to see a shop that specialized in knitting/sewing with quality yarns and fabrics like they have in other neighborhoods.
Columbia City really needs a constant destination anchor like a Trader Joe's to bring people into the business district on a regular basis (though that wouldn't fit in the space).
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