March 26, 2006

OB Sentinel Losing Landmarks

Areial view of future Staples site?
Two interesing stories in the Sentinel on Sat. both deal with the lose of landmarks and the changes brought to our communities by continuing growth.
One artilce details the closing of Mrs. T's deli, a Nags Head landmark for more than 20 years. The deli's lease at the Satterfield Landing Shopping center was bought out, as were the leases of others in the center including the shop where I get my hair cut. The rumor mill has a Staples office supply store going in here. I don't know if this rumor is true.
The second story highlights the closing of the last fish house on Ocracoke. The fish wholesaler is being demolished to make way for residential development. The article details the way that fishermen are dealing with the loss, some by shifting their catch to vendors at other locations and some becoming wholesalers themselves, selling to local restaurants.
Nags Head's Vision Statement focuses on locally owned businesses as a key element in building our local economy. The loss of small businesses hurts the identity of the town whether it is replaced by a home or a chain vendor. I attended a workshop Thursday night. It was a brainstorming session on the future of development on the beach road. I was pleased by the seeming consensus that keeping small business on the beach road was important. It was a factor mentioned by many at the workshop.
Lets hope we can find some way to slow the trend. Nags Head imits on the size of new retail spaces (50,000 sq. feet). I am curious to see just how big the Staples plans to be and if the town allows a recombination of the Food Lion and adjoinging shops to create a retail building that exceeds the limit. I don't know if this is the plan but I am very curious.

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