Friday, June 17, 2011

SURPRISE! Old Kroger store will be newest flea market on Dixie

Note: As I have done here only one time before, I feel it is necessary to warn you of the foul mood the following story has put me in. I am liable to use a swear word or two. Proceed with caution. You have been warned. - Brian

Most of the hopes and dreams I had for my neighborhood died a terrible but quick death today, as I experienced with my own eyes what I think may be the final nail in the coffin that contained them.

When I started this site, it was my hope that residents of Valley Station would organize into a single voice to advocate for sustainable progress that made sense. Everyone I talked to had the same hopes for retail, housing and jobs. We may sometimes agree on little else, but we could all say we put our neighborhood first.

But with time, as all other things, the landscape has changed- both economically and politically.

Perhaps our plans were too grand. Maybe we had too narrow a focus. And maybe we misjudged our neighbors. Suppose they don't want the same thing. Suppose they like what we have here and are thrilled with things just as they are?

In January, Business First featured an article about the new owners of the Dixie Valley Shopping Center at 10445 Dixie Highway. The anchor tenant is the Valley Station Wal-Mart.

The shopping center was purchased in foreclosure by a Denver company for $3.3 million dollars.

In a news release, Baceline Investments, LLC said they would undertake an "aggressive revitalization plan for Dixie Valley designed to attract top tenants intended to build on the momentum created by the Wal-Mart renovation."

There were many rumors about what type of tenants might be interested, and the speculation grew as residents began to see improvements made to the center's exterior.

In March, during my meeting with David Yates (D-25), the councilman said he and his staff were excited about the possibilities for the center and pledged to do whatever they could, to the extent possible, to help bring some sought-after merchants to the struggling development.

So it is with a heavy heart I report to you that the former Kroger store in the Dixie Valley Center will now be occupied by another fucking Peddler's Mall flea market. This one is called "Vendor's Village".

What was that about "top tenants"?

I don't know how many of you reading this frequent these places but obviously they have enough business to be profitable and remain open. My personal opinion, as expressed here many times before, is that they are a cancer on the community - a pox upon our houses that keep out good retail development and keep SW Louisville as the punchline to some pretty bad redneck jokes. I am not alone in opposing these places but, evidently, we seem to be in the minority here.

There are now several of these businesses located on Dixie. One is located at the "front door" of Shively at the old Bacon's Department Store. Now this one is at the "front door" of SW Louisville.

I don't know what else to say except that I am immensely disappointed, and I don't know how much longer I can continue to advocate for better if that's not what the community wants. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the best we can have is check-cashing stores, used car lots, pawn shops and flea markets. But I remember a time, not too long ago, when we had nice things in SW Louisville.

It sure used to be different out here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Updates: VHS reunion, a council cockblock and SW Farmers Market

- Valley High School's class of 1981 is having a 30-year reunion, and today (Wednesday) is the deadline to RSVP. Click HERE for more information.

- They will be talking about fireworks and the city's attempt to cockblock a new state law that allows at the June "District 12 Dialogue", next Tuesday June 21. Major Connie Sparks, Fire Marshall of the Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Department is the invited guest for the event. She will discuss firework safety along with other topics relating to public safety and fire prevention. The meeting will be held at the Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway and starts at 7:00pm.

- Riverside- The Farnsley Moremen Landing will hold three workshops on the creative use of herbs. Workshops are presented by Nola Lillie. All materials are provided. $5 each session or $10 if you register in advance for all three sessions. Call 935-6809 or e-mail
Sunday, July 31, 2PM. “Culinary Uses for Herbs” - teas, dressings and more!
Sunday, August 28, 2PM. “Herbal Cosmetics” - Bath salts, skin cream & more!

- Reminder: The Southwest Farmer’s Market is open in the north parking lot at Valley High School, Saturday mornings 9AM-1PM. Come out and support our local people who have booths at the market. Interested vendors can call Barbara Gagel at 447-6809. Senior vouchers, BBT, debit/credit cards and cash are all accepted.