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Plans to Open a Trader Joe's Nixed in a Portland Black Neighborhood

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By BVN Staff

Previous plans to open a Trader Joe’s store in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Portland came to a halt when the grocery chain announced last week it would not bring the store to the neighborhood in the Northeast Portland area.

Local activists were opposed to the store, concerned the store’s prices were not affordable to the community and may bring gentrification to the historically-black neighborhood. According to The Oregonian, Majestic Realty Co., headquartered in California, had hoped to build an $8 million development there, which would have included a Trader Joe’s store.

In a statement sent to The Oregonian, a Trader Joe’s spokesperson said “We run neighborhood stores, and our approach is simple: If a neighborhood does not want a Trader Joe’s, we understand, and we won’t open the store in question.”

Opposition to the development project was largely led by the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF).

In a letter sent to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, and several other officials, the group said in part, “Our opposition is rooted in the well-documented and ongoing attempt to profit from the development in inner [North and Northeast] Portland at the expense of Black and low-income individuals.”

The group said it will remain opposed to any development that does not benefit the black community in North and Northeast Portland.

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