Pay an incentive fee and Downtown Los Angeles will get a Trader Joe's
The Los Angeles Times reports in "LA booster club is cheesed off at Trader Joe's" that a Downtown residents association gave TJ's a lemon award because they continue to "refuse" to open a store in Downtown Los Angeles.
DC's second Trader Joe's opened a couple weeks ago at 14th and U Streets NW ("14th Street Trader Joe's has murals of U Street landmarks," Washington Post). I don't know if the developer had to pay an incentive fee to the company, I doubt it, because as a single project they wouldn't have had the financial werewithal to do it.
But DC's first Trader Joe's came to the city only because of an incentive payment. And it wasn't even paid for by DC, but by the Foggy Bottom Association, which received a large "grant" in return for the agreement to extinguish an easement on the old Columbia Hospital for Women, which had prevented the site from being further developed. FBA took a big portion of that money (I always forget the exact amount), something like $1.2 million, and dangled it in front of Trader Joe's, which refused to come to the city without an incentive payment.
Allegedly, that first DC location one of the company's more successful stores on the east coast, and now they have many more stores in urban locations, including in Philadelphia. And it makes them more likely to open additional stores in DC.
But sometimes, to get a company over the hump, you've got to put out...