Crozet welcomes the new Harris Teeter store and the distinction it brings to our town, however undeserved by our own efforts, of being the home of one America’s most energy-efficient and environmentally enlightened grocery store buildings. It’s a new day in Crozet. The Gazette remembers well the shock we felt a few years ago when La Cocina del Sol opened in downtown and suddenly folks were seen eating on its porch late into the summer evenings. Night life, it seemed, had reached Crozet. A store with 40,000 items in it means that many things that used to be available only after a drive to Charlottesville or Waynesboro are now conveniently at hand. Once again there has been a scale shift in our idea about where we live.
But it also portends changes in how attractive Crozet will be to newcomers. Area realtors have reported for a long time that many house buyers declare a reluctance to come to western Albemarle over a perceived lack of a large, convenient suburban-style grocery store here. Now we have one of the most well-stocked, environmentally avant garde stores anywhere. We’ll see if that changes anything in the rate of local residential growth, but, really, how could this Harris Teeter not be an allurement? Growth issues, which have been dormant during the recession, seem reawakened.