Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

December 5, 2012

City needs store on Cumberland

Following is a copy of a letter sent to Steve Smith, chief executive officer of K-VA-T Food Stores:

Thank you for visiting Bluefield to meet with our economic development director and members of our city board. As we expressed, having a grocery store in Cumberland Road’s prime location is vital to the community and the economic development efforts for our area.

We are encouraged that you have indicated to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that K-VA-T is aggressively looking for another site in Bluefield. We are at your disposal with respect to finding other properties for development.

However, the Cumberland Road location remains critical to our area. That area needs an anchor grocery store for these important residential and other commercial enterprises. Bluefield has an elderly population that needs access to basic food goods on Cumberland Road. Additionally, our merchants on Cumberland Road benefit greatly from the traffic that only a grocery store can bring. Not being able to develop this location for sales of food will have a major negative impact on Bluefield and eventually the Bluefields.

As we discussed in our meeting, we ask that you look at a cost model for a smaller Food City store for the location. If this option is not feasible, we respectfully ask that you sublet to another grocery chain or consider abandoning the lease. We understand that K-VA-T may have leased the property and building before conducting the necessary due diligence. According to our conversation you indicated that after doing the due diligence, you now have decided that location is not suitable. We believe that our residents and surrounding businesses will suffer as a result of your decision concerning this location.

Your organization is known for its charity and community work. The greater good of both Bluefields has benefits for all in the future. If we are healthy, then long term Bluefield, Va., will benefit as well, much like the two Bristols.

Please consider partnering with our city and its citizens. I think you will find the long-term economic benefits received will be surprising. The Bluefields are a wonderful place with great people. Many of our residents have supported your Food City location in Virginia, and at this time, we need your support. I believe you not only would receive the gratitude of our citizens but economic benefits by placing another store at the Cumberland Road location.

Linda Whalen


city of Bluefield

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