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Land sale for grocer not in city’s best interest

Boulder City voters will have a chance to weigh in on whether or not the city should sell 16.3 acres of land for the development of a shopping center, primarily a grocery store. From a resident’s standpoint, a second grocery store would be nice, competition is often good and choice can benefit the consumer.

The real question is: Is it a want or need? Suppose a new grocery store was built, likely, most everyone would flock to this new establishment to check it out, and it would be expected to be large, modern and inviting.

With the sudden lack of business, it wouldn’t surprise me if Albertsons decided to exit and close their store, leaving us with what we had to begin with — one grocery store.

Frankly, there isn’t enough business in our relatively small community for two grocery stores. Already, some frequent WinCo, Costco, Smiths and others. Therefore, I have several ideas.

Number one: Ask the parent company of Albertsons (soon to be Kroger) if they would be interested in a land swap. Provide Albertsons with the 16.3 acres of vacant land in question in exchange for the property that Albertsons currently resides upon. Build a new police and fire administration facility on the present site.

The current Albertsons location would be close to perfect for a new police department. It would also facilitate the fire department’s desire to reduce the response time to the north side of town. Albertsons would build a new supermarket on the 16.3 acres.

This new supermarket could be a Pavilions brand, a larger version of what we now have, which would enhance the shopping experience. It would be a win-win-win. Boulder City would have a new, modern grocery outlet, Albertsons would not have to deal with a direct competitor, which provides an incentive to invest and remain, and we would have a new state-of-the-art police and fire station.

Number two: Consider selling or leasing the property to a limited brand or specialty brand market such as Gelson’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, etc., instead of a direct competitor to Albertsons. This would provide a wider variety of goods beyond what Albertsons offers and, at the same time, not directly compete with them.

Number three: Lease the property rather than sell it. We can still dictate what kind of retail operation is installed, and we get to keep the land with an income into perpetuity.

And, let’s not forget, Albertsons does a great job; their employees are well-trained and considerate, with reasonable prices, sales incentives and senior discounts. Albertsons has also supported our Emergency Aid program with generous donations. I can’t think of a better relationship that our town has.

Why would we want to reduce the amount of business that they have? Instead, we should help promote their business.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

G. Kevin Savord is currently a professional pilot and former small business owner. He can be reached at gksavord@gmail.com.

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