A few weeks ago, one of my local grocery stores rebranded. After Safeway and Albertsons merged a few years back, the writing was on the proverbial wall. The Safeway branded store across the street was shuttered. A few months back, I noticed the start of a remodel. While talking with friends there, I was told the store would become a Safeway soon. That's now done.
A few days ago I noticed I felt somewhat sad looking at the sign. Well, the store has been an Albertsons as long as I can remember. Went there with my mom, watched the changes of the area, yet it was there. No longer, though.
Lynnwood, this little suburb north of Seattle, hasn't been as radically transforming as Seattle or the Eastside. Well, until recently. Stalwarts of my childhood have closed, buildings getting torn down, land redeveloped, vacant lots becoming neighborhoods. Housing prices sprinting upwards.
Change. Pretty rapid change, too.
Communities consist of these institutions, and their interactions with our citizens. The uniqueness of Lynnwood morphs, so what will become of the charms we value? I value?.
Defining their value, though, is hard. I see the value to government, and our local business community. I'm a real estate agent and currently work in construction. I get that. Yet I worry that the influx of national chains and steep housing price inflation erode that which makes this community unique. Lynnwood has always been about commerce. But it's also had a place for very one-of-a-kind businesses. Those are the ones vanishing.
So many long-time residents I know feel concerned. Those things that build attachment vanish. What holds us here? At what place do we surrender to inflation and move to someplace more affordable? I guess that's the question at the end of all this.
I don't know, my friends. Just don't know.