Despite Portland Mayor Charlie Hales’s pleas to change their minds, the grocery store chain Trader Joe’s decided not to build on an empty lot in the northeast part of the city. In a press release Tuesday the mayor said:
“I told them it was a shame because that section of Portland is vibrant and on the rise. We’re confident that another, similar project will happen there and I’m dedicated to making that happen.”
Trader Joe’s apparently pulled out of the project after vocal opposition from the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF). PAALF says they have no animosity towards Trader Joe’s. Instead they see it as another way for the city to increase property value, which further pushes some of the African-American community out of the neighborhood. The mayor says he hopes to install $20 million worth of affordable housing in the area.