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Letter to the Editor: Italian Store Could Spur Unwelcome Development

Westover 7-Eleven closesJudging by the deluge of views and comments on our article about the Italian Store planning to open a second location, in Westover, most residents are excited about the opening.

But not everybody thinks the Italian Store will be an all-over positive development for the neighborhood.

Here’s a letter to the editor from former Westover resident Kyle Herchert:

I live in Rosslyn now, but from 2005 to 2012, I lived in the same house in Westover. (Tara Leeway Heights if you want to be a stickler).

I still remember the day I discovered the Forrest Inn. It was like a scientist who haphazardly stumbles upon a whole new species. I couldn’t believe there was a place like that in Arlington! It was amazing to me. I loved the fact that there was still a place that had remained unscathed amid the rapid growth we’ve all experienced living in Arlington over the last decade.

In many ways, all of Westover is like the Forrest. The entire strip had managed to retain its sleepy town feel even amid the hustle and bustle of the biggest little county in America. I’ve always enjoyed that feeling. It’s the feeling you get walking out of Pete’s Barber Shop, where I still get my hair cut, to stroll down to the Beer Garden just to check out the vibe. Westover just felt like home.

On the surface, the introduction of the Italian Store seems like a natural fit to the area – and in almost every way it is. It’s a mom and pop shop opening in the quintessential mom and pop town. However, the undeniable popularity of the Italian Store will undoubtedly attract huge numbers to the area. Once that happens I think it’s just a short time before investors realize that they can have success in the Westover area as well. How long will it be before the Forrest becomes a Boston Market or even worse, and Palm Beach Tan.

Maybe I’m being paranoid, I guess only time will tell.

— Kyle Herchert

A new weekend feature in 2014, ARLnow.com is now publishing letters to the editor. To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to [email protected].

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