For a brief moment, oh so brief, the headline in today's Statesman Journal gave hope to my terminally depressed Salem mind.
I've pretty much given up hope that Salem ever will be anything other than the bland, featureless, fast-food loving, strip mall adoring, second (or third) class city that it is now.
But my heart fluttered with unfamiliar optimism when I read:
Keizer Station a boon to area economy. More stores set to open; grocery store is a possibility
Grocery store is a possibility. Why, that could mean…dare I hope?...no, not in Salem…maybe, though…be optimistic…keep reading…they might be referring to…
A Trader Joes. Which my wife and I, along with countless other Trader Joes-deprived Salemites, have been visualizing for quite a while.
Reading on, I came to mention of Keizer Station's Area C.
Area C, west of the railroad tracks and south of Chemawa Road, remains undeveloped and unplanned, but a change could be made there to allow a 120,000-square-foot building that could house a grocery store, developer Alan Roodhouse said.
Hmmmm. Undeveloped and unplanned. Doesn't sound promising. Then, three paragraphs down the line, my Salem depression returned with a this town is so goddamn #@$%^! vengeance.
If the changes are approved, the store could be in by the end of 2008 or mid-2009, Roodhouse said. Store candidates include Fred Meyer, Safeway, WinCo and Wal-Mart. Stores not interested in the site include Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, Albertsons and Roth's, but Roodhouse said any of them would be welcome in the spot.
Dear God, why hast thou forsaken Salem!? Is it because we share the name of a city known for its witch trials? Whatever the reason, lift the curse, the black cloud, the life-sapping vibe, that hangs over Oregon's second largest city.
Lord have mercy – not another WinCo or Wal-Mart!
My sentiments were shared by many of those who left online comments about this story, which begin here and continue for several more pages. Trader Joes was mentioned longingly.
Just what is it going to take in order to get Trader Joe's to come to either Keizer or Salem? Come on folks, we need something new! I am sure that the people in the area may be able to use a Walmart or Freddys, but wouldn't it be nice to have something that we don't already have? We need a Trader Joes!
I think the powers that be at Trader Joe's are doing themselves a disservice. They need to think outside the box and take a chance on Keizer Station. Their bean counters are too focused on demographics and not interested in reality. People in this area are dying for Trader Joe's and I believe it would do quite well.
I too would love to have a Trader Joe's in Salem. About once or twice a month we drive up to the one at the I-5 & 217 interchange and stock up on a lot things that you can only buy there. I have heard the reason that Trader Joe's will not come to Salem, is that the average disposable income in Salem does not fit their model. This is the same reason Whole Foods and other stores avoid Salem. As the article said, the management of the development would welcome them here, but the stores don't want to come. Does the term, "one horse town" ring a bell here?
I was in Bend for a vacation a couple of weeks ago, and they are building a Trader Joe's there. I couldn't believe it. I do not understand why the heads of that company seem to think Salem or this area wouldn't be a good place for a Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's is not an expensive store, at least not to me. So I don't get it.
I don't understand Trader Joe's reticence in not wanting to come here. Salem has a mixed population, but there are many people who make lots of money and appreciate their products. I believe they would do well in Salem. They would also draw people from other areas that may not go to Portland to shop them. For them to snub Salem makes me think twice about shopping Trader Joes at all.
Would LOVE to see a Trader Joe's! I drive up to the one in LO now & could spend even more at one here with the gas money I'd save.
My sources tell me that Trader Joe's will locate here within the next couple of years but only in South Salem.
Well, that last comment left me with a ray of hope, a slight parting of the perpetually gray clouds that hang over Salem's shopping and restaurant scene.
Keizer Station, for those who are fortunate enough to have missed its trendy-in-1980 big box shopping center design, currently has such yawn-inducing stores as: Target, Sleep Country USA, Ross Dress for Less, Lane Bryant, and an OSU Beaver Fan Shop.
(Oh, yeah. That's just where I don't want to head, after watching OSU lose to Cincinnati in such a dreadful fashion last week.)
Such is Salem, land of Wal-Mart, Target, and all-you-can-eat dining. But here's the thing, Mr. or Ms. Trader Joes location planner, who I hope will read this post one day after Googling "Salem + Trader Joes."
Your store would make out like gangbusters here. Really. Especially if it's in south Salem, which is populated with a larger share of health-food friendly creative class types than, say, the penitentiary neighborhood.
Build it and we will come.