Last week saw the opening of a brand-new Whole Foods market smack dab in the middle of downtown Miami – the chain’s first location within City limits and the first dedicated grocery store in the central business district.
With downtown Miami growing at a frenzied pace – the area’s population has doubled in size since 2000! – and a disproportionate number of millennials calling the neighborhood home, the arrival of Whole Foods should be a welcomed addition in the new-look urban core.
But for all the fanfare surrounding last week’s grand opening, Whole Foods’ debut may not even be the most impactful grocery store to hit Miami this month.
This week — Wednesday to be precise — marks the introduction of a full-service Walmart store at the intersection of northwest 79th Street and 32nd Avenue, in Miami’s Northside neighborhood.
The new Walmart is creating 300 new jobs and bringing access to fresh food and affordable groceries in an area that has sat undeveloped for decades.
The store marks the first new commercial development in Northside dating back more than 50 years. And no, that’s not a typo. It’s been a half-century since the private sector invested in new real estate development in the area.
It’s easy to overlook underserved areas in favor of the swanky high-rises going up all over South Florida. But with Miami ranking among the least affordable major cities in the US, it’s critical that the private sector continues investing in neighborhoods that stray off-the-beaten path far too often.