New Seasons Market is in the works for N. Williams

The North Portland area around N. Williams and Fremont has seen a lot of change over recent years. With the addition of many new shops, restaurants and bars; the area rivals its neighbor N. Mississippi. So it’s not a surprise to me to see that there are now plans for a 30,000 square foot, $8 million New Seasons Market. Do you think that is what the area needs….a New Seasons Market?

The most common reaction in the area is that the store is a welcome addition that will add jobs and attract redevelopment. More debatable has been whether the store — which some say is the latest example of gentrification — will address what some call a “food desert” where low-income residents struggle for access to fresh food. (Oregonian)

Either way, many are glad to see such a large addition to the neighborhood believing that it is a sign that the economy is improving, businesses are expanding and little hip neighborhoods are continuing to grow! A new grocery store without a doubt will create jobs for people in the neighborhood for sure.

New Seasons prides itself on being a good corporate citizen. The company, headquartered at Vancouver Avenue and Tillamook Street, employs 2,300 people and will create 160 jobs that pay at least $10 an hour. CEO Lisa Sedlar has promised to hold a local job fair and work with the Northeast Coalition of Neighbors to explore creating a food benefit program for those on public assistance. And last year, the company donated 10 percent of its after-tax profits to about 700 community causes, such as Good in the Hood, concerts in Dawson Park and neighborhood cleanups (Oregonian).

But what about the cost to shop at New Seasons? Lets face it, New Seasons is not the cheapest store around and they admit it. They try to stay competitive but even so, will residents be able to afford this new store in their N. Williams Neighborhood? Some definitely will not be able to afford it and will continue to drive in search of cheaper options.

Me personally, I would have liked to see a Trader Joes instead. With New Seasons already residing in North Portland and the nearest Trader Joes being about 3.5 miles away in NW Portland it would have been a better option in my mind. What do you think? Do you live in North Portland and have any opinion about the New Seasons Market that is in the works for N. Williams?

by Betsy Ballantyne

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