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Melissa Loughridge Savenko
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« New Listing - 2113 Floyd Avenue - Historic Fan District | Main | "Fan of the Fan" and Update on VCU Purchase of Grace Street Ukrop's »

March 26, 2009


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As someone who was heavily engaged in many of the "VCU Go East" conversations and meetings in the early 1990s, and covered the agreement between VCU and the Fan District Association that drew a very solid line at Harrison Street (with a few pre-existing exceptions) for future university growth, I'd say the issue here is simple: Will the FDA protect the architectural and residential integrity they fought for 20 years ago, and will VCU's Foundation live up to a hard-fought agreement with the community? What the building could become -- whether owned by VCU or not -- isn't the issue.


I don't think VCU is keeping Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe's away. They are here and in an area that is convenient and serves a larger population than Harrison could sustain. Why do we want to contain VCU. VCU recieves many honor and rankings for its Business School, Engineering program, Art School. Leading Medical School. and of coarse Basketball!! Support VCU growth.


This is old news. This purchase was made at the beginning of the year.


has anyone considered that fact that the demand does not exist in that area for a new grocery store, Kroger is just a few blocks away.

Plus a VCU development makes sense right there. Consider this. The following VCU facilities are about a block or two away from the Ukrops parcel:
Capital Garage Apartments
the Siegel Center
VCU Bookstore
The Sports Medicine Bldg
VCU Police
Bowe Street Parking Deck
Ackell Residential Center

Joe who owns in the fan

People who live in the fan and are not supportive of VCU are among the worst type of humans. Totally hipocritial to not support the only thing keeping the fan a vibrant and interesting place to live. Please do not forget that the fan was heading down hill very quickly until VCU was founded.

BTW - do research prior to spouting off about putting a TJ or Whole Foods at the old Ukrops location. You have as much chance of one of those (really great) places coming as you do a Hermes store.


The former Ukrops grocery store will never be a grocery store again. Its about 3-4 blocks away from a much larger Kroger that sells booze and smokes and groceries. The area can't support both of them.

Has anyone thought what would happen to the neighborhoods that flank VCU if the new president feels he can't handle neighborhood associations and decides to move VCU to Henrico(Short Pump/Glen Allen)

Melissa Loughridge Savenko

Gee, Pauline, I gotta say - I'm not following your logic. Homeless people, beggars and shoplifters are going to loiter in a grocery store parking lot, but not in front of small, ground floor shops? And I'd dare say the Kroger on Allen and Broad seems to do a bang-up business, despite these alleged homeless people, beggars, and shoplifters, which I assume you would believe are in that parking lot as well.

Nope, I think the reason Ukrop's didn't work is in large part because it didn't sell alcohol, which makes huge margins for grocery stores. While I absolutely respect the Ukrop family for their personal committment to a no-alcohol policy, I think it was the death-knell of a smaller, boutique market. HOWEVER, I think an Ellwood Thompson outpost or a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, a company without that same limitation, would do a bang-up business.

But again, this is just one person's opinion. I re-emphasize, I don't know what VCU's plans are, everyone is speculating at the moment, but it does appear incontrovertible that VCU violated the letter and spirit of its 1990 agreement with the surrounding neighborhood associations. Thanks for taking the time to comment. MLS


I'm going to contact all my influential friends and pull some strings. Everybody (well two people) knows I'm in bed with the souless developers that run this town.


I agree with Paul as well. I want either Ukrops to come back or for another grocery store like Trader Joes or some other market of sorts to come into the space. I do not want to see more student housing and I was a student at VCU not to long ago!


What's the alternative? A hulking vacant building, is that what you want? You are not going to get a viable grocery store at that location because of the homeless people, shoplifters, and beggars that populate the parking lot. Better to have student housing with small shops on the ground floor.

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