I am a renter who has lived in JP for over 15 years. In that time, I’ve seen many good friends and wonderful, locally owned businesses priced out of the area. However, on the plus side, neighborhoods have improved, which is nice if you can afford to still live here. So I have mixed feelings over the debate about Hi-Lo and Whole Foods. I shop at Whole Foods for some items and the employees there seem to be happier and better taken care of than at many food store chains. But I also usually skip lunch for budgetary reasons.
Most of the perspectives I’ve heard can be sorted by the financial class of the speakers. It’s got me to wondering about how gentrification has played out in this country in the past. If there are any knowledgeable folks out there, what I’d like to know is this: Has there ever been a case where an area improves and gentrification doesn’t follow? If so, please spill the beans soon as to how.