The Trader Joe’s grocery-store chain has dropped a plan to open a new store in the heart of the city’s historically African-American neighborhood after activists said the development would price black residents out of the area.

The grocer, whose stores are found in urban neighborhoods across the nation, said Monday it wouldn’t press its plan, given community resistance, The Oregonian ( ) reported.

“We open a limited number of stores each year, in communities across the country,” it said in a statement. “We run neighborhood stores, and our approach is simple: If a neighborhood does not want a Trader Joe’s, we understand, and we won’t open the store in question.”

The Portland Development Commission had offered a steep discount to the grocer on a parcel of nearly two acres that was appraised at up to $2.9 million: a purchase price of slightly more than $500,000. The lot is at Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and has been vacant for years.

Critics said the development would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in one of the most rapidly gentrifying ZIP codes in the nation.

The Portland African American Leadership Forum said the development commission had in the past made promises about preventing projects from displacing community members but hadn’t fulfilled them.

It sent the city a letter saying it would “remain opposed to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the Black community.” It said the grocery-store development would “increase the desirability of the neighborhood,” for “non-oppressed populations.”

Mayor Charlie Hales and the urban renewal agency’s executive director, Patrick Quinton, signed a letter in January that described what they said was the commission’s contributions “to the destructive impact of gentrification and displacement on the African American community.”

Trader Joe’s is based in Monrovia, Calif. Its store would have been the anchor of a two-building development that included space for four to 10 shops and 100 parking spaces. A company owned by African-Americans in Portland had been slated to build it.

Hales said Monday it was too soon to determine what might happen to the vacant lot. Read more at


  • Big D

    now I want to see a black grocery store open in its place, but I doubt that will happen unfortunately

  • MoorThugRelated

    They opened a Whole Foods on Mack & Woodwardn. Its nothing but hipdters and shit up in there. Police and armed security stay in and outside that mofo like its a station but they response time is 45 mins in the hood.

    “They don’t give a f*ck about us” -Pac

    • MoorThugRelated


  • RenaissanceMan

    The “oppresssed” people of these neighborhoods keep these bums in office. The leadership knows if their voting base changes, they may have to do meaningful work to maintain power.

    Aside from bringing jobs, the people who own property in the community would see real value in property appreciation.

    As it stands the faux leadership of this community will sell and embrace fear as opposed to hope. You’re right Moor – they don’t give a puck

  • NoWhiteInMyCup

    Whats up with Trader joes, keep hearing about it , can anyone fill me in on what type of store it is, is it the shiit, is it whole foods, i mean what’s so special about it.

    Wholes food is certifed, publix is quality, and walmart is/ 24/7 but whats the deal with Trader joes?

    • DustyJux

      Trader Joe’s is what I call the regular man’s Whole Foods. They sell good food at very reasonable prices. I personally buy about 90% of my groceries from there and spend less or around the same as I would if I went to a big name store like Publix or Pathmark but I get much healthier products…..As much as there is a lack of availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in the hood I would’ve thought they would embrace a store like this coming into the neighborhood to offer folks an alternative to fast food and Habib on the corner’s crap. I suspect that there is an ulterior motive in denying the development of that space. The argument against the store being built doesn’t make sense.

      • NoWhiteInMyCup

        Appreciat the info on store homie, as far as them not wanting to sell land for 500k i can understand, i dont know property in paticular for 500k is not that much these days.

        Orlando is planning on buiding a new Soccer Stadium and i heard its some small properies that have been offered millions for small homes and buildings and they will not sell.

        Its a fine line between being greedy and doing whats deserved, because ultimately the city can do eminent domain and offer less.

      • Goodwill06

        Well stated. 100% agreed.

        • Goodwill06

          @DustyJux: Well stated. 100% agreed.


    thats better than them hood grocery stores like Wayfield foods