I am all for entrepreneurship and I am certainly all for growth and progress. As a matter of fact, an argument could be made that small business is what could save this economy especially in cases where a need or niche is being filled.
Unfortunately, that is not what is happening in Gwinnett Village where we are dealing with a bit of overkill.
For those who are unaware, Gwinnett Village is a Community Improvement District (CID) located approximately 20 minutes Northeast from downtown Atlanta (without traffic of course) mostly within unincorporated Norcross, Georgia. “The Village” largely consists of several small to medium sized office parks, retail (including “Furniture Row”) and a wide variety of residential. While demographically diverse, the area does have a very large Hispanic community. The purpose of the CID was formed was to “rehab” and revitalize the community to rebuild its value and sense of security.
As is typically the case in most communities, the types of businesses that incorporate in the area usually mirror its demographic base. So it is no surprise that to drive down Jimmy Carter Boulevard, the heart of the village, you will see a myriad of Hispanic retail establishments. In fact, at this point we are down right inundated with no end in sight.
Consider this… from Britt Road to Buford Highway along Jimmy Carter Boulevard we have access to the following major grocery stores: Food Depot, Bravo, Kroger, Aldi’s, and Hong Kong Supermarket. Most of those are within two miles along Jimmy Carter Boulevard. Staggered in between these establishments along the same route are smaller “markets” that mostly cater to the Hispanic market.
In the last several months, Town and Country Furniture shut its doors, and now apparently it is going to be replaced by… yes.. yet another Hispanic themed market – directly next door to Food Depot.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop. I love variety and choice even more and I am a total believer in competition.
This is ridiculous. This is not filling a need. Even Starbucks, whose coffee shops could once be found on practically every street corner, is starting to say “enough” as they scale back. Gwinnett County needs to do more to help “The Village” do the same , while the CID needs to do more to invite a larger variety of business to fill other “needs” in order to really “rehab” the community.