The ForKids organization gave a presentation to the Suburban Acres Civic League at the January meeting, outlining their plan to open a Thrift Store in the old Sports Zone in Wards Corner Shopping Center.
!! This topic is receiving mixed reviews among the Wards Corner community — YOUR awareness and feedback are essential !!
The Yays and Nays:
Most everyone, if not all, are supportive of the charity work that is done through ForKids. Some support the addition of the thrift because it will be business in an otherwise empty store in a shopping center that is desperate for business. The organization promises an upscale thrift store.
The largest opposition has been based on the required rezoning of the property, and the lasting impact it can make on Wards Corner. The expressed concern has been that once the property is zoned to allow a thrift store, a zoning precedent is set that may lead to more thrift stores in Wards Corner– which is thought to be an impediment to the WC revitalization efforts and the ability to attract the desired quality of merchants.
The information below is provided for your education on the topic:
Click here to view the ForKids presentation
Click to read an article posted on the Wardscorner Now webpage (posted Nov 2010)
Following is an excerpt of a message from Thaler McCormick (CEO of ForKids) after presenting to SACL:
“…Also, we encourage everyone to join us for tours of our facilities to become familiar with our work and our standards for implementing projects. I find that when people see firsthand what we do they are usually amazed at our attention to detail. I think this will be very comforting for anyone that might be concerned about the project. To schedule a tour or for questions about the project, please have your members call me (622-6400, ext. 101) or my Development Director Bill Young (622-6400 ext. 126).
Please take some time to become familiar with the proposed project, and know that you are encouraged to provide your civic league with your feedback.
** CITY PLANNING COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA
The Norfolk City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on January 27, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 11th Floor, City Hall Building, Civic Center, Norfolk, Virginia to consider the following applications:
FORKIDS FAMILY THRIFT BY FORKIDS, INC., for a Special Exception to operate a Used Merchandise Establishment on property located on the southeast corner of W. Little Creek Road and Granby Street, property fronts 469 feet, more or less, along the southern line of W. Little Creek Road and 313 feet, more or less, along the eastern line of Granby Street; premises numbered 7542 Granby Street, Unit 19 and 20.
The SACL will provide our City Council representative and the Planning Commission with the general consensus from Suburban Acres prior to this meeting.
At this time, a special meeting for SACL vote has not been established.
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I am very fond of “ForKids” for the work they’re doing…and I recognize the need for business in the WC shopping Center. Business begets business, I suppose.
However, I’m not fond of the exception that will be made to allow a thrift store into this shopping center. I think WC has been fighting a long battle for the redevelopment of this shopping center, and I’d rather hold out for the proper redevelopment to bring what we want in our community.
I don’t feel a ‘thrift store’ is the desire, (there are plenty of them on East Little Creek) nor do I believe the “up-scale thrift” by ForKids will go far toward getting us where want to be. How “up-scale” is a thrift store? I feel this could be a perpetuation of the types of businesses that currently saturate WC, repelling the merchants that “I” would like to see established within walking distance from my home.
My biggest concern, really, is the rezoning. If this property is rezoned for second-hand retail, how will it ever be reversed?
– SACL Member
We have no opposition to a special use permit for the proposed thrift store. The chances of the Wards Corner shopping district being updated to a higher-end shopping/business area do not seem very high any time in the foreseeable future – the property owners and the economy make it unlikely. A thrift store will benefit this charity, provide an outlet for recycling household items, and provide a place for our community to shop, and help those who cannot afford to buy new things. We support the ForKids thrift store.
My husband and I echo the above thoughts immensely, especially the statement, “How ‘upscale’ is a thrift store?” We feel that if a thrift store enters that location, there will be even more foot traffic around our neighborhood. We feel that since our home is not tucked away farther into the neighborhood, it makes for an easier target (i.e. The stolen tire off of my Jeep). We also hesitate to think that the rezoning will actually be reversed once it has been changed.
This thought is well expressed on the ForKids Family Thrift. We don’t NEED another thrift store nor do we want one in our Wards Corner corridor. If we are trying to bring WC back as a thriving shopping area, this will not be a good way to do it, for our neighborhood as well as others that are close by!
– SACL memebr