Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Compare Foods, T.J. Maxx closing on Independence

Two local retailers are closing up shop on Independence Boulevard, as the Compare Foods supermarket and the T.J. Maxx locations are shutting down soon or already shuttered.

Both stores are located in the shopping center at Independence Blvd. and Idlewild Road, on the right if you're driving out of the city on Independence. The area has struggled since Independence became a hybrid expressway, limiting options for motorists to turn off and head into the shopping centers.


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The Compare Foods store at the shopping center is already closed. A Compare Food employee at the supermarket's office said shoppers should go to the retailer's new location at 3600 North Sharon Amity Road instead.

T.J. Maxx will be open until 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14. There is currently a sale underway to clear out the store's inventory, so head over for the final pickings.

In a spot of positive news for the area, the Walmart SuperCenter on Independence looks very nearly ready to open. Fixtures inside the store are visible from the outside, and the building, parking lot and landscaping look finished. No word yet today from Walmart on when it will open, but I'll let you know when I hear from them.

A bigger question than the Walmart's opening date, however, is whether or not the mega-store will help revive this struggling retail corridor.

33 comments:

heavymetal said...

"The area has struggled since Independence became a hybrid expressway, limiting options for motorists to turn off and head into the shopping centers. "

Nothing has changed for this shopping center or access to it just yet. So that can't be the reason for "struggling" sales.

In the very near future, as they start the next phase of converting to an expressway on that leg of Independence, that could very well be the issue.

I think these retailers are moving out in advance of that.

Anonymous said...

If you take a look at the proposed ovepass/onramps it takes out the compare foods store along with several other buildings in the area. I am sure the lease was up on the location. They need to just finish up the conversion but should have made it where businesses were accesses from Central or Monroe. It would have saved the Eastland mall area. It was stupid for them to allow Walmart to be built where it is and what is going to happen to the old walmart location.. sit empty like the one in University which had impacted that entire shopping center and brought down the area because they won't lease it to a competitor or sell it at a resonable price.

Anonymous said...

It would take a lot of money, but Independence needs to be elevated, with service roads and exits on either side of it. There just isn't going to be any way to run a viable business along that road the way it is.

heavymetal said...

In my opinion, here's the thing: the state DOT did a horrible PR job last time with the stretch of road from Eastway to Pierson.

Access was more difficult after the roadwork was done, but not impossible. For example, Shoney's didn't have to close, plenty of access there, both off of Independence and from the neighborhood.

But at the planning stage for that stretch, the state DOT pretty much told business there would be no direct access off of Independence, thus (in my opinion) forcing the exodus.

Ely Portillo said...

Here is a story by my colleague Karen with some more background on the whole Independence Boulevard situation. Some businesses are likely getting out or not renewing leases before the next stage of the expressway conversion, while some (like the McDonalds and Sam's Mart/Shell at Independence and Idlewild) are on the state's demolition block. Should be interesting to see how the conversion goes - the last Independence conversion, between 2001 and 2006, resulted in more than 100 business closures.

Anonymous said...

We should all be fully prepared to stop justifying the area as the NCDOT IS making this a highway corridor. Retail will not exist on this stretch in any major successful way unless incorporated in the plan. The hay day of Independence is over and the growth will take place miles off of it, if at all.

Anonymous said...

Ely, thanks for the story.

Do you have any information on the old Wal*mart on Eastway? Will it be subdivided, renovated, and re-leased?

There are some signs that this is already proceeding (pre-permitting).

J said...

The McDonald's is also already closed. We can cry about how vibrant Independence used to be all we want, but now that traffic needs are forcing the change from a boulevard to a highway, I think it's unnecessary. What would you think of someone who moaned that they can't turn from I-85 directly into a grocery store? You would think they are nuts.

As for the new Wal-Mart... My church recently inquired of the cat who now owns the old Coliseum Shopping Center next door, as we are looking for a place to build a building. The guy says he wants to hold onto it and use the new Wal-Mart to redevelop it. So there may be some more shops coming once Wal-Mart opens.

J said...

Another note on the Idlewild intersection. The Shell is also already gone, as well as Independence Business Park where the DMV office used to be. Only things still alive at the Idlewild intersection are the BP on one side and the Bojangles' and First Citizens Bank on the other side. I have a hard time believing Rose's will stick around for the long term as well.

There is a benefit to all this for those of us who live in the area and work uptown - a faster commute. I appreciate that it only takes 3 minutes to get from Sharon Amity to I-277. Once the next conversion is finished, my commute from off Village Lake Dr to uptown, even by bus, will only be about 15 minutes or so, since there will be no lights or bus stops once you get past WT Harris Blvd.

JP said...

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but it's way too much of a coincidence that just as the new Super WalMart is about to open up, a bunch of its main competitors (Compare Foods, TJ Maxx, and soon Petco) up the street are being taken out due to this road widening. There are exits on 74 that lead right into the new Wal-Mart parking lot (Pierson Dr.) yet how many jobs are going to be lost in those 3 stores alone so that the Wal-Mart can be successful.

I hope the faster commute is worth the thousands of jobs that will be lost and the increased degradation of the neighborhood that it will cause.

Anonymous said...

Who's familiar with Houston? The SW Expressway is very similar to Independance Blvd but on a much larger scale. They have a frontage road on each side that services the local businesses with exits at many cross streets. Houston had the same problem with a stuggling thoroughfare in older part of town and figured it out quite well. Charlotte should do the same.

John said...

I just did some (very infrequent) shopping on Independence this past week. Part of the problem is that they designed in a need for U-Turns while doing nothing to make those easier. If they would eliminate right-on-red or right turnsignals at the cross streets, U-turns on the left turn signal would be much easier, faster and safer. An alternative would be to create a special U-turn lane between lights, so that traffic making a U-turn doesn't have to worry about the cross traffic.

JP said...

I agree with Eli that the area has suffered tremendously due to the road widening. All you need to do is look at all the empty buildings during your 5 minute faster commute into uptown.

However, I know for a fact both the Compare Foods and the TJ Maxx were doing great business in that location. I'm in commercial real estate and know that both stores were top performers in their respective chains. For the poster that mentioned Roses, they already gave notice to the landlord that they're out. The landlord is looking for a tenant but that location will stay empty for a long time.

John said...

J. said "What would you think of someone who moaned that they can't turn from I-85 directly into a grocery store? You would think they are nuts. "

The difference here is that the grocery was there BEFORE "I-85".

There are better ways, and they chose not to use them. Frontage roads or an elevated section with the frontage road beneath would be options... or just make U-Turns easier and safer. If it was your livelihood which was being destroyed... you'd be screaming too!

Anonymous said...

The welfare scum that tend to infest that area didn't have anything to do with the demise of these stores?

Anonymous said...

i don't think I could read 15 more ignorant rants if i made them up. i amn a home owner behind compare and these closings are all part of the ind blvd. ext project. We the area home owners have been to numerous meetings , seen the plans and have known about these closings for a year. the apt's behind compare are also going to be leveled. a little research would have went a long way instead alot of shot in the dark comments

Anonymous said...

The writer could have done alittle research instead of guessing. Again, we the area home owners have known about these plans for over a year. What the writer should have researched is that the businesses that this ext project effect are more then just widening the road and taking away lights. If he would have bothered to research, he would have found out that you will no longer be able to turn rt. or left on idlewild or conference. they are building off & on ramps to access these streets and hence the need to close alot more businesses then meet the eye. again, it's approved plans in city hall, the reporters research would have shown these things. And he gets paid to report on anything?

Ely Portillo said...

Hi Anon. 4:02. Thanks for reading. Since this is a blog, I focus on quick posts here, not long, heavily-reported articles. Because of that, I went ahead and provided a link to a much longer story about the Independence Blvd. project with more details, which has already run in the paper. I'll go ahead and link to it again here in case that helps.

Anonymous said...

More change we can believe in.

Anonymous said...

this is another example of Government killing jobs with bad policy

Anonymous said...

I remember back when you could actually live and shop off Independence Blvd. I had left Charlotte late 90s and returned in 2007 and it's still somewhat of a shock to me what's happened to that area.

Anonymous said...

This area has struggled FOR YEARS. Before the late 90s.

Anonymous said...

First Citizens closed several weeks ago (Idlewild/Independence); Pet Supermarket moved further down Independence. Compare Foods should've closed as their prices were HIGHER than Harris Teeter's. They also required a minimum $10 purchase just to get cash back when you use your debit card. Residing in Mint Hill and only traveling that way once or twice per month will not be a big inconvenience to me. Hopefully, those displaced or terminated will find better employment in the future.

MoosewithaJ said...

I remember being a kid crossing independence from where city Chevrolet is to play at an arcade further up where hooters used to be.
And remember thinking even back in the late 70's early 80's (80-83) This area is starting to die it just seems grimy. I must have been a prophet when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

Theold walmart is already leased. the lessee has not been made public

Anonymous said...

"It was stupid for them to allow Walmart to be built where it is and what is going to happen to the old walmart location.. sit empty like the one in University which had impacted that entire shopping center and brought down the area because they won't lease it to a competitor or sell it at a resonable price."
This logic is flawed on so many levels. First of all, Wal-Mart does not own the location on Easway. The old Wal-Mart at Eastway is aready leased to a new occupant. (I do not knowhow you deermined Wal-Mart did ordidnot own any other particular locations or that they "won't lease it to anyone else".
Ironically th Wal-Mart on eastway pu the k-mart on Indpenedece out of business long efore the freeway conversion, and caused an immediate impact to the Amity Gardens Shopping Center which it just redeveloped.
This Wal-Mart is larger, beer looking, moe visale,and more covenient regional as opposed to local traffic.
"They" Is the zoning boar of adjustments and ciy council.
They o not consider adshould no consider whereWal-Mart currently exists/rets. They are closing hat location ad as a business have every right to move, upgrade and buy a permanent loccation. iis eer forth city if hey make a permanent invesmet anyway. It is no the government's job to tll Wal_mart where they should be located on arbitrary reasons that th government has o place getting inolved in

Anonymous said...

"We should all be fully prepared to stop justifying the area as the NCDOT IS making this a highway corridor.”
What kind of garbage is this... What do you mean be Fully prepared to sop justifying the area” what does that even mean. There are people who own land there and businesses. They have a legal right to have access. They have a legal right to safe access, as do citizens on the road. They have a legal right and a reasonable expectation to run their businesses. They have a reasonabl expectation o hae convenient access from the road. If the NCDOT wants to make a full expressway, then they need to buy them out rather than buy minimal ROW with no improvements to their 90 degree turnouts and and no lane markings for exit and entry.
“Retail will not exist on this stretch in any major successful way unless incorporated in the plan.”
NCDOT needs to incorporate retail into “the plan” They haven’t. That is the problem. They won’t spend the money to buy them all out or provide adequate infrastructure to support them. The NCDOT’s plan is limited to the road design only, intentionally.

Anonymous said...

"We can cry about how vibrant Independence used to be all we want, but now that traffic needs are forcing the change from a boulevard to a highway, I think it's unnecessary. What would you think of someone who moaned that they can't turn from I-85 directly into a grocery store? You would think they are nuts."

You think what is unnecessary? Complaining about not being able to turn SAFELY in and out of a business? Complaining about unnecessarily having dead blighted buildings with no buyouts or consideration if they aren’t getting bought out by the state? Complaining about not having safe or convenient access for customers to your business or you land, when you are located on a freeway that was converted 30 years after you constructed your building?
I-85 was built from nohing with a huge buffer. It is also an interstate, not a state highway desined wih etail and homes on it. Yes independence hadhomes on it uil 1983. Comparing I-85 which is inherently serving a different pupose and built in a totally different scenario and has no businesses at all from it's inception is ridiculous.
I personally worked for 8 years to overturn the 350 foot transitional setack (Yes a 350’ ROW for a 150’ road!) so Wal-Mart could build on Independence. People have a right to complain about the conditions.

No construction would have occurred since 1989 at this point (and didn’t) for the entire time the transitional setback was in place. The Coliseum Shopping center was not eligible for redevelopment for 8 years after the road widening was completed from Briar Creek to Sharon Amity. That makes no sense. The city wouldn’t let you church or Wal-Mart build on Independence even though the road widening project was completed 8 years earlier. They indeed to effuse any redevelopment indefinitely until myself and a handful of other citizens pleaded with the state legislature remove the city’s right to have a transitional setback on Independence Blvd. Some of our legislators convinced the city staff and council to remove the transitional setback, so that they wouldn’t have to change the law, (which would harm Charlotte severely financially for any other future road widening projects in the city limits).

Anonymous said...

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but it's way too much of a coincidence that just as the new Super WalMart is about to open up, a bunch of its main competitors (Compare Foods, TJ Maxx, and soon Petco) up the street are being taken out due to this road widening. There are exits on 74 that lead right into the new Wal-Mart parking lot (Pierson Dr.) yet how many jobs are going to be lost in those 3 stores alone so that the Wal-Mart can be successful.

I assure you it is not a coincidence that the businesses you mentioned are closing. The road widening project is the direct cause. The project clearly is not related to putting Wal-Mart’s competition out of business. Not only does it not make (common) sense, it is impossible based on chronological facts.
The road widening project was planed over 30 years ago. The next phase of widening from Sharon Amity to Conference Dr was made public long before the Wal-Mart was planned, rezoned, or construction began. Additionally Roses was not at the current until after the planned wal-mart was rezoned.
Furthermore, Wal-Mart has its own issues. The exit that goes directly to Wal-Mart is only from outbound Independence. Inbound traffic is required to perform all kinds of confusing and stressful twists and turns through residential neighborhoods.
You say you aren’t a conspiracy theorist but clearly you are by your accusation that this project which has been well publicized even before the wal-mart was conceived is “thousands of jobs that will be lost” “how many jobs are going to be lost in those 3 stores alone so that the Wal-Mart can be successful.”

Anonymous said...

"I just did some (very infrequent) shopping on Independence this past week. Part of the problem is that they designed in a need for U-Turns while doing nothing to make those easier. If they would eliminate right-on-red or right turnsignals at the cross streets, U-turns on the left turn signal would be much easier, faster and safer. An alternative would be to create a special U-turn lane between lights, so that traffic making a U-turn doesn't have to worry about the cross traffic."

John, th road project hasn't been completed yet. You are talking about the old road. There will be no lights, cross streets, turn signals, or you u turns. There will be on interchange for the entire stretch of the project. It is going to kill a ton of businesses.

Anonymous said...

"This area has struggled FOR YEARS. Before the late 90s."
No. that is abolutely untrue. Prior to th freeway conversion eginning, it was the most productive and heavily used retail corridor in the region, nevermind the city. Indepenence and Alemarle was in the top-10 busiest intersections in the U.S. in the midto late 80's. Retail was extremely brisk on independence blvd until the first leg of the freeway conversion.

Anonymous said...

"The welfare scum that tend to infest that area didn't have anything to do with the demise of these stores?"
No asolutely not. Independence is a regional highway neverind local highway. There are plenty of affluet patrons traveling the highway all day everyday. Ther is a good mix of incomes in theseton of Independece with plenty of middle class people in the immediate area. The lack of conveniet access is definitely the issue along with competition in matthews.

Anonymous said...

"More change we can believe in."
I hope that isn't a reference to the presidet... Please. This project was planed over 30 years ago. Not only that but This specific stretch was being engineered at least in 2004 when I started meting with the sate about it. They even had bulic meetings with neighbors in 2005. This is a state project,not a federal project. it's not even an interestate. It is a state highway and all the money came from the state $170 million forall the planing, construction and ROW buyout