Corner stores can often prove controversial. Some neighbors like a walking-distance spot to grab a snack or some smokes, but others see their store as a magnet for crime.
One Raleigh neighborhood managed to force its quickie mart out of business after years of complaints. City workers this month began razing a longtime shop east of downtown that critics said was a magnet for crime.
Raleigh’s Community Development department bought Big John’s Community Grocery at the corner of Edenton Street and Idlewild Avenue in July. The city paid $199,000 for the store built in 1920, according to property records. The store owner's lease was ended soon after.
“It was acquired because there had been concerns from the community and also from a lot of the police officers we worked with,” community development director Michele Grant said.
When Big John’s applied for its alcohol sales permit in 2004, both a Presbyterian church and the College Park/Idlewild Community Watch opposed the application, state records show. Raleigh police forwarded their own objections based on the concerns. Some neighbors reported seeing drug deals at the site. The store still received a permit.
The city is preparing the lot for sale. It will take bids on the property from developers who want to build a single-family home there, Grant said.