Grocery Stores are the center of the universe!
Unless you eat every meal in a restaurant, there is probably someone in your household that is going to a grocery store at least once a week. Many people I know visit the grocery store on a daily basis.
For many, trips to the grocery store can be an opportunity to connect with your neighbors, make new friends, support a local charity, or just chat with a familiar check out clerk. Sounds like the function of a community center doesn’t it? My feeling is that grocery stores are the center of a community! My recent moves to senior living communities have only amplified this!
On a weekly bus trip to a nearby shopping mall (with a grocery store), I was sitting next to a women named “Mary”. “Mary” shared that she was able to walk to the grocery store every day at her previous home in New Jersey. She wished the community was close enough to walk to the grocery store now, “I would do it every day”. Although “Mary” used a walker for mobility, I have no doubt that she would be able to walk to a store in close proximity. It would be healthy and it would be a way to connect to neighbors of all ages.
I have noticed that the Harris Teeter chain of grocery stores seems to be strategically located at the bottom of many condo and apartment buildings throughout the country. This offers a convenience to residents of all ages, but especially someone with mobility issues or someone who can’t or doesn’t want to drive.