Just a little over a week after the closure of Whole Foods Market and days after the 15th Street Kroger cleared its shelves, two grocery chains have announced plans to plant roots in Augusta.
Sprouts Farmers Market, an Arizona-based healthy living supermarket will be the anchor tenant in the proposed Crane Creek shopping center at the corner of Interstate 20 and Walton Way Extension, just across the interstate from the Augusta Exchange shopping center. That area has been without a full-service grocery store since the closing of Winn-Dixie in 2005.
The other new supermarket, which is slated to occupy 3034 Peach Orchard Road, is a brand that’s more familiar to the Augusta area: Aldi.
The German-based discount grocer has filed plans with Richmond County to build on the site formerly occupied by the Ryan’s buffet restaurant, which closed last year.
The 250-store Sprouts chain is a competitor to health-focused supermarkets such as Whole Foods, EarthFare and Trader Joe’s. Its website said its store focus on “healthy living for less.”
Cobblestone Retail Group, the Atlanta-based commercial real estate brokerage representing Sprouts at the future Crane Creek development, did not return phone calls seeking more information on the store Friday. But based on its online marketing materials, the 30,000-square-foot store would occupy more than half of the shopping center at the entrance to the Grand Oaks at Crane Creek apartment community.
That size is slightly smaller than the shuttered Whole Foods store, which was 41,000 square feet. The rest of the Crane Creek property will have more than 17,000 square feet for additional businesses, as well as two outparcels with drive-through availability. The projected completion date for the shopping center is March 2018.
This will be the fourth Aldi in the area in just the last few years with locations in North Augusta, Aiken and Augusta. Aldi representatives confirmed the store location but did not immediately respond to requests for additional information on the store.
German-based Lidl, an Aldi competitor, is also popping up in various locations in the metro Augusta area. Locations in North Augusta and Augusta are already underway and according to documents from the Columbia County planning department, another location is in the works for Fury’s Ferry Road.
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