Downtown Columbia needs a grocery store. As an MU student who grew up in mid-Missouri, I have seen Columbia blossom into a vibrant community. Now the city is seeing a rapid increase in growth, and downtown is no exception. Over the past few years, many new apartment complexes have sprouted up, with many more currently in the works.
In correspondence to a brand new seven-story Doubletree hotel to be erected in the present location of the Regency Hotel, traffic to downtown Columbia is likely to increase. To prepare for this extra traffic, another six-story parking garage is being built directly across the street. Two separate entities are showing interest in utilizing the space, which will increase the resident population downtown.
Columbia's downtown district is the place to be for art, dining, shopping and much more. But what it excels at in culture, it lacks in basic necessities. Few, if any, stores supply the goods many use on a daily basis. The closest location, Walgreens, only sells some of these basic goods.
Consider the ease and simplicity, not just downtown but in the immediate area, residents would experience if such a store existed. For many, the nearest place to buy food and basic goods would be one of the chain stores on Conley Road, Grindstone Parkway or farther. This would decrease the need for people who live nearby to drive to purchase such items, further decreasing congested roadways. It is time for Columbia to open a grocery store downtown.
Mackenzie Thiessen is a Columbia resident.