It’s always sad when a store you like has to close. You go in under the big “closing” sign, and the shelves don’t seem as full as they were. Some services are no longer being offered. Your rewards card no longer counts for anything. They offer discounts on the goods they sell, but what good is a discount if soon the doors will be shut? It’s depressing. And the worst part is that employees you have come to know by name — and like — have to look for work in an economy where jobs are hard to find.
Ray’s Food Place in North Albany is closing. It’s one of the 16 stores the Brookings-based C&K chain of supermarkets is shutting down as part of reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy laws. The North Albany store was beautifully appointed when it opened in 2006, but it proved bigger than its market could support.
When it opened, plans were in the works for building scores of townhouses in the immediate vicinity, along with big new subdivisions. The townhouse plan evaporated, all those nearby residents who would have been able to walk to the store failed to materialize, and to some potential customers, Ray’s prices likely outweighed its convenience and friendly service.
Now one of the planned subdivisions nearby has been replaced with a proposed old-age home with up to 144 living units, including 70 individual apartments. This project, by Bonaventure Senior Living of Salem, is the subject of a planning commission hearing for a conditional use permit on Dec. 3. (The four-story building also needs a variance from height regulations.)
The average age of residents in the company’s 37 other facilities is 82, and some live in “memory care,” so they may not exactly count as active supermarket shoppers. Still, some of them and the employees of the place might have helped bulk up the business of Ray’s. Too bad the company could not hold out that long. (hh)