Thursday, April 28, 2011

Good Earth's prime anchor spot will be shared by several businesses

Richard’s Foodporium -- formerly Richard’s Whole Foods -- has acquired Good Earth Grocery and will be closing the Lakewood Ranch Main Street store April 30.

The closing marks the end of an effort to anchor one side of Main Street with a super-sized store.

Previously, Morton's Gourmet Market was in the location, but closed in 2008.

The space sat empty for more than a year before Good Earth moved in.

The Good Earth space will be reconfigured to accommodate several businesses, according to a press release from Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch.

 “With the recent economic challenges, it’s become difficult to support a 12,000-square-foot space — regardless of what type of business it is,” said Brian Kennelly, president of LWR Commercial Realty, in the press release. “Just like people are downsizing their homes, business owners are downsizing as well, which is why we have decided to break that up into multiple spaces. We are excited by the opportunity to repurpose this prime space to meet market demands.”

It does not appear the  Good Earth space will sit vacant for long.

SMR plans to take a portion for the  Premier Sports Campus of Lakewood Ranch and use it as a multi-use sports performance and training center for visiting athletes. The center will also be open to the public through memberships.

LWR Commercial Realty  also has a letter of intent from  a casual restaurant  to take up another portion.

Construction is slated to begin in July with openings anticipated in November. The remaining space will be able to accommodate two-to-three additional tenants.

“While we love the Main Street location, Richard’s has another already established store very close by,” said John Rorer, owner of Richard’s Foodporium, in the press release. “In addition, the 12,000-square-foot space does not fit in to our typical marketing and branding strategy. For these reasons, we will not turn the existing Good Earth store into another Richard’s Whole Foods.”

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