Friday, April 11, 2014

Loehmann's Plaza to Become The Fresh Market Plaza?

The Fresh Market is poised to take former Loehmann's retail space.

Well placed sources indicate that Greensboro, North Carolina-based The Fresh Market is very close to signing a lease agreement that will put one of their markets in place of the recently shuttered Loehmann's retail store at Loehmann's (soon to be The Fresh Market?) Plaza.  The healthy grocery store is without a location in the area and has for a while been interested in entering the market. 

The Fresh Market started in Greensboro in 1982, and today is a publicly traded company (TFM: NASDAQ)  operating over 125 locations, largely in the southeast.  Florida is their largest market with 36 locations, while their home state of North Carolina has 17 locations.  Georgia currently has a dozen The Fresh Market stores while Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi and New Hampshire each have single locations.

Last month, the chain closed three locations in the Sacramento, California area and one in Houston Texas. Two of the now closed locations in the Sacramento area had only been open five months.  Craig Carlock, the company's president and CEO, said the closures were meant to improve “profitability and future growth prospects.”    Carlock went on to say “we are refining our real estate plan to focus on increasing penetration in existing markets while slowing the pace of our expansion in new markets."

The Fresh Market's proposed entry into the Emory / Druid Hills market would seem to be in line with their plans to further penetrate existing markets. Although Toco Hills is home to both a large Kroger and a large Publix, and Whole Foods Market has a boutique location at the corner of Briarcliff & LaVista Roads, I think The Fresh Market could do well.

Other sources indicate that property owner Regency Centers is also in negotiations with a number of users interested in space at Loehmann's Plaza.  The former OfficeMax and the current Lettuce Souprise You space are reportedly receiving the most interest.  At least one growing burger joint has expressed an interest in the Lettuce Souprise You space, but that deal is reportedly "far from done" and there are "multiple interested parties."

A number of parking enhancements and the recent addition of  Plano, Texas-based Zo√ęs Kitchen have both likely increased the appeal of the shopping center.  

Asheville, North Carolina-based EarthFare is also coming to the area and will reportedly occupy a street level space in Phase 2 of Emory Point on Clifton Road.  Phase 2 of the project replaces the old Emory Inn which was demolished for the new development.

Phoenix, Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market has a number of new locations in the works in the Atlanta market but nothing confirmed for the Emory area. Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe's, on the other hand, has reportedly been overall displeased with their Atlanta area stores aside from their midtown and Buckhead locations.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Trader Joe's isn't playing well OTP. More proof of the ITP/OTP divide. Harry's Farmers Market held out until the end OTP, until Whole Foods came in at the end and bought them out.

Anonymous said...

Well Trader Joes needs to revise their expectations because the East Cobb and Hwy 92 locations are always packed. Not sure how much more they think they have to make.

What is happening to the Lettuce Souprise You? Are they moving or just calling it quits?

Anonymous said...

Any idea of a renovation of this center? It's pretty dated.

Looks like I was wrong about its prospects. Good for them for landing this tenant. Hopefully it goes well.

Anonymous said...

Noo, don't close Lettuce Souprise You! I love that place.

AJ said...

I wouldn't call Trader Joe's an ITP/OTP issue. I live in East Cobb and love Harry's and frequently go to the Whole Foods directly across the street from the East Cobb Trader Joe's. I just think Trader Joe's chose a bad location in East Cobb. Parking is horrific. (And please don't go there with "cars in the suburbs" - Buckhead and midtown are just as guilty.) So many other shopping centers in the area and I think they chose the wrong one. I actually do my Trader Joe's shopping in Buckhead for that reason. It just means I go to Trader Joe's less. I'm curious what you mean by the OTP/ITP divide anyways? Are we less sophisticated? Do we all eat at Applebees? Or are we wealthy, sophisticated people who for one reason or another chose to live in the suburbs and have a lot of money to spend - thus the reason we have Harry's, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Trader Joes, and coming soon Sprouts & Earth Fare? By the way, I own property both ITP & OTP so I can be biased either way :-)

Anonymous said...

"The Fresh Market is poised to take former Loehmann's retail space."

Bazinga!!!! Time to redevelop that ghetto across Briarcliff, too!!!

Anonymous said...

It's simple. ITP is liberal, OTP is conservative. Liberals shop at Trader Joe's way more than Conservatives do.

Anonymous said...

I want a Jason's Deli in Loehmann's Plaza! Also, will it now be called Fresh Plaza?

Jeff A. Taylor said...

Hmm, something is gonna have to give in East Cobb.

Background: I was a dedicated Trader Joe's shopper in DC in the 90s, fading to Whole Foods as my kids aged and I needed more fresh produce and meats. (Safeway and Giant were horrorshows.) Moving to CLT in the 00s, I tried Fresh Market supplemented with Harris Teeter, but FM was so boutique and bakery focused that it was like shopping at a very high-end 7/11 for everything else. Then a Earth Fare opened not too far away, but the meat and produce did not consistently execute, although the prepared soups were nuts. It always seemed to be compromise joint. Move to the ATL in the '10s, minutes from the Roswell/Johnson ferry intersection just as Whole Foods cranks up. Heaven, supplemented as need be with Publix (Ok) and then the sorta MILFy 7/11 makeover for the close-by Target, which shoehorned in groceries. And yogurt. For the MILFs in yoga pants. Trader Joe's -- as AJ reports -- was just too difficult to get in and out of and -- unless I wanted weird frozen or prepared foods -- basically stocked nothing I wanted. Now 2014 -- WF produce and meat has taken a dive in recent months, beef especially. Local dry aged fare is AWOL and were it not for the house made sausage, there is really no value to be had there any more. It is so bad that I am considering trying the Fresh Market a half-mile down the road.
Bottomline, for all this movement in the high-end market sector to be happening now in metro ATL there must be metrics out there showing that the incumbents are vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

Fresh Market would be good in place of Loehmans. Looks like they are adding a much needed traffic light to get out of the shopping center on Briarcliff as well.

The closest Trader Joes to me is at the Formum in Norcross. Only downside is you have to enter the whole shopping center to get to Trader Joes. Not sure that was the best idea.

Anonymous said...

Newk's going in across the street is basically the same thing as Jason's Deli, is it not?

I like the brick and fake chimney architecture at Loehmanns. I would rather see that than more fake beige stucco.

Anonymous said...

Shrug. I prefer Buford Hwy Farmer's Market.

Lisa said...

I would love for Lettuce Surprise you to be turned into a Sweet Tomatoes! We need on ITP.

Carl Black said...

This seems like a great proposal! FYI, Anonymous, the name Loehmann's Plaza was dropped here many years ago. Clearly they didn't need to pay extra for that feature since so many still think of this shopping center by that name.

Howard said...

Is the EarthFare a sure thing for Emory Point? I went to college in NC and fell in love. I'm always stocking up on things when I go to a city they are in.

I've always been surprised they haven't come to Atlanta yet. They made it to Augusta, GA and Huntsville, AL. Why not Atlanta? To big and volatile of a market?

Anonymous said...

Smoothie King is coming too!!!

Bryan Marquardt said...

East Cobb Trader Joes is a nightmare to get in and out of it. Even had someone hit my car driving too fast. I forego that location that is closer to me and shop at Sandy Springs or Buckhead location instead.

Anonymous said...

The development will be renamed Brighten Park.