by James C. Sherlock
I have written in this space many times about the struggles of Petersburg.
Petersburg is blessed in one way.
The Progress-Index’s Bill Atkinson and Joyce Chu may be the best pair of local news reporters working in Virginia.
Mr. Atkinson, in a series of reports, has detailed the continuing struggles of that city to get a grocery store downtown.
The big grocers surround the center of the city in more prosperous, safer areas but have not entered there.
It is no secret why. Poverty and crime do not attract retailers vulnerable to shoplifting and worse. And Petersburg is among the poorest and most crime-ridden in Virginia.
A recent Petersburg solicitation for interest in building a grocery store downtown drew no bidders.
The Governor has a broad Partnership for Petersburg initiative to help Petersburg help itself It is run by Garrison Coward, an external-affairs senior advisor to Gov. Youngkin.
He reports that the Governor is “hell-bent” on seeing a grocery store built there.
I will offer an idea. Continue reading