There's some buzz over at the Grand Lake / Adams Point Yahoo message board about a Trader Joes coming to the former location of the Albertsons on Lakeshore Avenue.
The estimated opening date listed on the message board is 2007, but one look at the Trader Joes' website reveals that Oakland's not firmly -- if at all -- in Trader Joes plans. The "coming soon" list does not include Oakland.
I think all of this was started with Councilmember Pat Kernighan's report on her efforts to "secure a High Quality Tenant" for the location back in January. And there have been residents begging Trader Joes to open at that site, and more rumors that "two Oakland locations" were scouted, but not planned.
But no firm confirmation of Trader Joe's actually coming to Oakland from the people at Trader Joe's.
What's happening here is what I call "circular buzz" where a group wants something to happen so bad, they chat it up online so much that someone else reads it again and again and thinks it true. What can be said is there's a kind of movement to make this happen, but what's forgotten is that Trader Joe's is a business, and not a political entity. Many neighborhoods are pulling for their stores and there's only so much money the company can spend -- unless Oakland's going to build it for them.
I also think some of this is buzz generated by Pat Kernighan supporters who want to see her win a bitterly contested election against Aimee Allison. Hold your horses, folks.
The Trader Joe's is a nice idea, but the reality is that it's not happening at this time. It's good to keep pushing, though.
What's interesting to me is how the Grand Lake / Lakeshore area is -- from a retail perspective -- slowing begining to look like some neighborhoods in San Francisco..
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