A new shopping center will rise in Northeast Richland next year and bring Columbia its second Fresh Market gourmet grocery store by late summer or early fall.
Demolition has already begun at the 3-acre site on Two Notch Road at Fore Avenue, across from the entrance to the Village at Sandhill shopping and living complex, a Colliers International real estate broker confirmed Friday. The new, 36,500-square-foot Fresh Market shopping center is being developed by Greenville-based MPG Two Notch, LLC.
MPG Two Notch also developed the 71,000-square-foot Hobby Lobby craft store that opened last year next door to the planned Fresh Market shopping center.
“Trenholm Plaza was the only store they had (in Columbia) and they weren’t able to accommodate their customer base adequately, thus the need to expand their footprint in Columbia with another store,” said Tripp Bradley, senior broker specializing in retail land and site selection at Colliers International in Columbia.
Fresh Market, a high-end specialty grocer, will occupy a 22,500-square-foot building along the back of the site. Another 14,000 square feet in the shopping center will accommodate several other retail tenants, Bradley said.
A separate 8,000 square feet of retail space will be constructed on the property along Two Notch Road, Bradley said, and be available for lease. Advanced negotiations are underway with two restaurants for the frontage space along Two Notch Road, Bradley said, but the restaurants could not be identifed because the leases have not been finalized.
Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., Fresh Market said through a spokesman Friday it could not comment on whether it would develop another Columbia-area store.
Fresh Market seeks a specific set of demographics when locating its stores, and northeast Columbia fits Fresh Market’s bill, Bradley said. “Typically, retailers look at population and household incomes, and their (Fresh Market’s) thresholds on both are pretty high, but northeast Columbia has enough critical mass from a residential standpoint and the income standpoint to justify another store out there,” Bradley said.
Fresh Market specializes in fresh-cut meats, fresh produce, fresh-cut flowers and other offerings at typically higher prices than most typical grocers. Founded in 1982, the company has eight stores in South Carolina, including Aiken, Greenville, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, Pawley’s Island and Columbia.
Fresh Market recently opened a remodeled store in Hilton Head Island and is set to open its sixth store in the Charlotte area Nov. 11.
The property that comprises the new shopping center included a mobile home lot that was at the rear of the new shopping center property and a Carolina Fresh Farms store along Two Notch Road. Carolina Fresh Farms, a landscape supply store that provides sod, hay, compost and other needs, temporarily moved to 1113 Old National Highway, farther down Two Notch Road, but will build a new store on Clemson Road within three to six months, said manager Stuart Bolin.
Retail development is at its highest level in years with several developments under construction throughout the Columbia retail market, Colliers said. While approximately 650,000 square feet of retail space has been developed in the market since 2008, about 1.5 million square feet will be developed in the Columbia market in the next two years, the company said.
“There was a need for another store out there and we were able to not only help a retailer get into a market that’s fairly tough to get into, but we were also able to help our client (MPG Two Notch) have another development,” Bradley said.
Roddie Burris: 803-771-8398