Councilwoman hoping to lure Target to build grocery store in west Charlotte

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Eyewitness News has been following the efforts of one Charlotte city councilwoman to bring healthier food options to West Charlotte.

A federal study identified the area as a "food desert" because many people in the area are low-income and live more than a third of a mile from the nearest grocery store.

Now council member LaWana Mayfield is launching a new effort to bring a grocery store to the area.

Getting to a grocery store isn't an easy task for Dorothy McGill. She's doesn't own a car and she's disabled.

"I've been struggling back and forth on the city bus, trying to get a ride back and forth with somebody, and that costs money," McGill said. "It would be very convenient if they built one down in our community."

Last November, we told you how Mayfield was hoping to tap into federal money intended to bring grocery stores to poor, urban areas across the country. Mayfield said that so far, that hasn't happened. Now, she's set her sights on another option, the national chain store Target. Mayfield recently learned the company has launched a new smaller store called "City Target" that caters specifically to urban communities.

Mayfield said when she saw a company representative at a recent neighborhood meeting, she brought up the idea of bringing a store to the area.

  "I could not pass up the opportunity to at least plant the seed to discuss what would it look for the southern region to choose Charlotte as one of the locations for the pilot program and specifically the west side as the Target location," Mayfield said.

Mayfield said she would like to see that store located on a lot at the corner of West Boulevard and Clanton Road. Her staff is now working to present a pitch to Target at the end of the month.

Tomorrow is the last day of July, but this seems to be implying something further off. Mayfield said if it the company is seriously interested, she would work with the city to offer it an incentive package.

McGill supports the idea and the opportunity to have easier access to healthier food options. "That's the main thing we need, fruits and vegetables," McGill said. "You live a long life, healthy heart, healthy eyes, healthy bones and muscles."

The City Target stores have already launched in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.