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Grocers Shine in ’09


Not immune to the recession, but continuing to post solid performances, the supermarket segment is providing developers with a still-powerful shopping center anchor.

In fact, the consensus is that if you’re going to open a store, then a grocery-anchored center is your best option right now, simply because people still have to eat.

Not every successful, or potentially successful, grocery-anchored center conforms to the “norm,” however; you’ll find supermarkets anchoring more than the traditional neighborhood center, but also mixed-use projects, big-box centers, upscale open-air developments and urban centers.

No matter the format, there are some widely accepted grocery-anchored leasing rules of thumb to consider. First, make sure the center is the right center for your store concept—just because it is anchored by a grocer doesn’t make it the perfect center for you; second, examine the tenant mix to ensure the customer the center draws is your customer as well; and, third, make sure the location within the center is optimum in terms of sight-lines, adjacencies and parking.

On the following pages, Chain Store Age has highlighted four grocery-anchored centers that represent the various, and best, options available to retail tenants today. From the more traditional neighborhood format to mixed-use, all are anchored by highly successful grocers that act as customer magnets for not only the anchor but the ancillary retail as well.

Tri-Land’s redevelopment of Brywood Centre in Kansas City, Mo., is significant on several levels. Not only is the developer building six new outlots along 63rd Street, with plans to renovate and improve the storefronts and building facades, but in addition is conducting a full renovation to include site improvements such as high-intensity lighting, high-impact landscaping, and a newly paved parking lot and curbs to significantly update the look of the center, which was last renovated in the 1970s.

In addition, Tri-Land is expanding the 60,000-sq.-ft. Price Chopper grocery anchor to a modern, 70,000-sq.-ft. location designed to be competitive with the new grocery competition entering the trade area.

But what makes this project even more significant is the community support and buy-in. Just announced in late June, Tri-Land and the city of Kansas City entered into a redevelopment agreement whereby Tax Increment Financing and a Community Investment District will provide funding for the redevelopment of Brywood Centre.

“We are very excited to be moving forward with this redevelopment project,” said Hugh Robinson, VP, Tri-Land. “We have had a great relationship with the city and the two district council members, Terry Riley and Cindy Circo, throughout this process. We look forward to delivering a renewed, high-quality project to this great community.”

Blue Mountain Commons is located on the north portion of the east shore of the Harrisburg, Pa., market. Fronting PA Route 39 Linglestown Road, the development site is the only commercially zoned property in an area of affluent residential neighborhoods.

Demographically, the Linglestown Road corridor is an excellent location—in fact, one of the best in the greater Harrisburg metro area.

Cape Ann, on Boston’s North Shore, is a growing, untapped market of 150,000 permanent residents. Unlike many waterfront communities that are seasonal by nature, the area, with its commuter rail accessibility to Boston, boasts a summer population that increases by approximately 33%.

With no competing centers within 17 miles, Gloucester Crossing fills the void of what may be the last underserved market in New England. The project will combine the area’s most successful supermarket with more than 30 shops and restaurants and a 100-room hotel concept to meet the increasing year-round demand for retail and services.

And Gloucester’s future is bright. It is rapidly developing an enhanced reputation as a bustling, diverse waterfront community with an abundance of cultural activities, museums, restaurants and events for all seasons. Communities such as Rockport, Hamilton and Manchester by the Sea have long enjoyed Gloucester and Cape Ann—and Gloucester Crossing serves to enhance that mix.

The project is located directly on Route 128, the area’s major roadway, on the last remaining 40 acres in downtown Gloucester, making Gloucester Crossing unique and destined for success.

Williamsburg Shopping Center is the only grocery-anchored center in the city of Williamsburg that is within walking distance to The College of William and Mary (8,000 enrollment), and Colonial Williamsburg, which draws 4 million tourists annually. The center, anchored by a newly renovated Bloom Supermarket, benefits from a daily traffic count of 38,000 vehicles on Richmond Road.

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