CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A popular, locally-owned grocery store in South End is facing the downside of the neighborhood’s explosive building boom. Healthy Home Market in the Sedgefield Shopping Center will close its South Boulevard location by the middle of 2014.
“It’s certainly not our decision to leave. Let's just say that,” said John Bauer, President of Healthy Home Markets, owner of four local stores.
Bauer says developer Marsh Properties notified him months ago that the company wasn’t interested in renewing the store’s lease, which expires March 2014, but offered to let the store stay through summer. Bauer said Marsh Properties President Jamie McLawhorn said redevelopment plans at the Sedgefield Shopping Center didn’t include the market.
“We were told in order to help the funding he needs in this big project, that he needed a publicly-traded, Fortune 500 kind of company," said Bauer.
Marsh Properties wouldn’t give specifics about its plans.
“We continue to study potential redevelopment,” McLawhorn said in a statement issued by the Marsh Properties.
Across the street from the shopping center, a 300 unit apartment complex is nearing completion. It’s one of several in the neighborhood under construction. Bauer says he was hoping the building boom would compensate for the lean years the store faced.
“We thought with our investment was now paying off over the past ten years, we were excited to stay there.”
Bauer says most workers will transfer for a new store planned for Plaza-Midwood.
Marsh Properties issued the following statement:
Marsh Properties is proud to have developed, owned and managed the Sedgefield Shopping Center for the past 65 years. We continue to study potential redevelopment as we have for a number of years as the South Blvd area has continued to redevelop with the light rail. We do not expect any plans would be implemented for 12 to 18 months.
Our lease with Healthy Home Market was structured such that had we not given them notice now of potential redevelopment, the lease would have extended beyond a time horizon that we felt would certainly include a redevelopment of the center.
We have enjoyed our relationship at Healthy Home Market and are confident that the brand and strong customer following they have built in South End in the last ten years will reward them as they relocate and expand in Charlotte.