Don't confuse business activity with population density. During the ball park debate the NSS survey indicated that down town was the 2nd or 3rd least densely populated region in the city. Monkey Junction is not within city limits BTW.
The reason I brought it up was that retailers look to residential population density as one measure that indicates where a store would be successful. If you look at Food Lion locations they tend to be near apartment complexes or densely populated areas just outside of city limits. Harris Teeter tends to be along major thoroughfares near population centers as well.
The reason for lack of grocers down town is the lack of residential density. Hopefully the building of several apartment/condo sites will help attract businesses to the area - lord knows we need to get away from the down town area being attractive only to bars and/or seasonal ice cream shops.
More information about formatting options