Tuesday night was a game changer

Published 2:31 pm Monday, November 14, 2016

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Tuesday, November 8, 2016, I was a part of one of those special moments in history. A moment in time, when you know what just happened, is a game changer.

Currently, when I leave the building I work in, the Dal Sasso office building on Dal Sasso Drive, as I walk to my car, on my right, is a sign.

The sign is old and is no longer relevant. It is rusty and faded. At the top of the sign, centered, in bold font, is the word SEARS. It is underscored by an arrow, which is pointing right. Below it are the words, Customer Pick-Up.

The sign was erected some time ago to direct shoppers to the designated area for picking up previously purchased items.

I do not know how long the sign has been irrelevant. Some time soon, I expect the sign to be removed.

HEB Grocery, LP is moving in.

I exaggerated when I stated I was part of a moment in history. But I was a spectator, masquerading as a reporter, at the meeting where it became official. Sitting on the row of chairs next to me were two of the more formidable figures among Orange County’s movers and shakers.

Jessica Hill, Executive Director of Orange County Economic Development Corporation and Precinct One County Commissioner Elect Johnny Trahan. I believe Hill was there, in part, because of an agenda item relating to the addition of a member to the EDC board. I think Trahan was there because he wanted to share in this moment.

The event of course was the City of Pinehurst regularly scheduled City Council meeting. Two agenda items made this moment in history special. Items number four and five took care of the HEB decision. After the required closed meeting to negotiate the details, the council reconvened openly to approve. Their approval officially paves the way for HEB to begin the process of repurposing the old Sears building into a vibrant retail outlet.

The second item making this meeting important was agenda item number seven. Council considered and approved designation of a Reinvestment Zone within the City of Pinehurst. “The Zone” includes the retail area along MacArthur Drive from Adams Bayou to 28th Street. The council can now offer incentives to other retailers to locate in this area.

Driving along this route, you can see the opportunity. There are retailers along this path doing well now. But there is room to grow. Revitalizing any part of this area will only enhance the possibility of continued revitalization.

Good for the City of Pinehurst!

While the rest of the world was focused on alphabet soup; ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, etcetera, Pinehurst was laying the foundation for a resurgence of retail.

I expect their actions to have much more effect on my life than the President of the United States.

I have also been watching the progress of the Interstate 10 construction at the end of 16th Street. On the southeast corner of that intersection demolition and cleanup took place recently.

What could be going there?

I haven’t studied the plans for the eventual outcome of the I-10 redo. Watching it unfold has provided some clues. It appears access on and off the interstate will be streamlined. Once completed the “value” and “demand” of the retail frontage should increase.

I am hopeful we will see revitalization on two fronts. We shall see.

In the meantime, Shop Local, it could be a game changer!


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. He can be reached at bobby.tingle@orangeleader.com