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August 30, 2021


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Thanks Brian. If one were to poll the existing businesses in downtown Salem, especially the restaurants, they would overwhelmingly say that they would LOVE to have an Amazon store downtown. It would be a regional draw that would greatly increase the foot traffic downtown. And it would force the City to act on our antiquated free parking that doesn't work anymore. We need paid parking like other cities our size. People should go to Eugene to see how it works. You can actually find a place to park on the street in downtown Eugene and it's worth the small amount you get dinged with you stick your credit card in the meter.

Mayhaps I am mistaken, but this seems like an idealistic fantasy.
The transportation issues would be problematic. Getting anywhere in town is becoming very difficult as population and congestion continue to increase.
If the store were actually to become a "regional draw", then one only needs to consider the discussions about the importance of location during the Costco matter. Stores that depend on regional sales must be located near high capacity roads: Never in downtown areas like ours.
Expensive parking that tends to exclude those with limited incomes may help some but it would not be a plus when it comes to how many people might shop there.
Also, unless things have radically and secretively changed, financial incentives would not only be required, but it is likely that a bidding war would be created between alternative jurisdictions.
The proposition that the store would be a "boon" to downtown development is questionable, at best. While a store with a broad range of affordable groceries has been and continues to be seen as needed downtown, it is generally accepted that development must come first. The cart comes after the horse.
Nevertheless, downtown development is important and even bad ideas can be stimulating and therefore useful.

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