Big box or Mom-and-pop stores? What type of development do you want to see in York?

For one magnificent summer, I lived within walking distance of a Trader Joe’s food store.

I’d load up my backpack with low-priced snacks, fruit, veggies and the hallmark Two-Buck Chuck — a $2 bottle of wine. It was glorious.

I dream that a Trader Joe’s will one day land in York County, but when it comes to other chains — from restaurants to clothing stores — I usually root for their demise in favor of mom-and-pop joints and local businesses.

But Slate writer argued in a recent article that we’re winning the war on poverty, in part, because of those big box stores that I so detest. Those chains are “exactly the kind of development most likely to benefit the poor,” he said.

And when I stop to think about it, it’s true that while I love my local eats, my (tight) budget loves when I buy in bulk at larger chains.

In York, 35.5 percent — more than one-third — of the population lives below the poverty line. So, as one segment of city residents call for more corridors of local entrepreneurs, like on North Beaver Street, another might benefit from an inner-city Wal-Mart.

What do you think? Is there room for a big box chain in the downtown?

Weigh in: What type of development do you think we need within city limits? What effect do you think big box stores would have on the downtown?

 

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