A walk down Grand Avenue, west of Cocowalk, is a stroll that leads to quiet sidewalks and empty windows of abandoned buildings, collecting dust. For every door open two are closed, indefinitely.
Grand Avenue gets daily traffic moving through West Grove. Cars and buses pass through, but don’t stop.
The closed businesses and lack of commerce raises this question: Why is this neighborhood that was once bustling and thriving now so empty?
Carrie Jackson, owner of The Cookie Café, remembers Grand Avenue when she was a child. As an adult, she looks at the streets of the neighborhood, shocked at how little of it resembles the past.
“I couldn’t believe there were so many closed businesses,” Jackson said.
Those who want to see a stronger economy in the area point out the lack of essential enterprises: supermarkets or pharmacies can’t be found in the West Grove.
Pointe Group had plans to open a Publix Supermarket on Grand Avenue, but the project — part of a larger redevelopment that could wipe out and rebuild much of the West Grove enclave — didn’t get very far once the recession hit and funding ran dry.
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