Walnut Hills is experiencing tremendous momentum. Over the past two years, many have lauded the multi-million dollar investments in buildings but equally important to us is investing in people. We pride ourselves on building up from within, taking an inclusive approach that values all members of the community - especially our most vulnerable.
This is why today is such a tough day for all of us.
After almost 30 years in the neighborhood, Kroger has announced that they are shutting their doors. We were disappointed to hear this news. While we knew this outcome was a possibility, we are startled by the abrupt nature of this announcement. Particularly because over the last few years we have taken a proactive approach to improving and retaining the store.
Our strategy started with Buy 25 Tuesdays, an effort that measurably increased revenue for the store, improved food options and ultimately prevented the store from closing in 2012. We then worked with the City to purchase over a dozen buildings around the store, including the historic Paramount building and the buildings that are now known as Trevarren Flats.
For a generation Kroger has served as an asset in our community in terms of food accessibility. In the midst of our growth, we will now have to wrestle with what this will mean for our residents. We recognize that this loss will greatly impact some of our community, and inconvenience many more. We recognize that some will have to travel further to get food, and that for the many residents without access to transportation, even more hurdles will be presented.
In light of this loss, we also see opportunity – opportunity to re-envision food access in our neighborhood in a way that best meets the needs of all. Over the coming weeks and months you will be seeing announcements about our strategies related to food access. We’ve been preparing for this day. Our neighborhood is fortunate to have so many that are passionate about food and its tool as a community builder; our community gardening among other efforts just became that much more important. We are a tenacious neighborhood that has a rich history of creatively tackling challenges just like this one. We are committed to our vision of a Walnut Hills that is vibrant, safe, healthy and inclusive for all - and this will not slow us down.
Kevin Wright, Christina Brown,
Executive Director Board President