At the Wilde Lake Village Board meeting on August 4th, Geoff Glazer, Kimco’s Development Director, laid out the economics of opening a new grocery store. According to Geoff, it costs $6 million to build a typical store (approximately 50-60,000 square feet), another $6 million to install fixtures and an additional $4 million for staffing and inventory. That brings the total to $16 million.
Within a mile and a half of Wilde Lake there is a Safeway at Harpers Choice, Giant at Hickory Ridge and Food Lion at Oakland Mills. The presence of these existing grocers combined with the lack of visibility of the village center (Twin Rivers Road is not a major artery) make it highly unlikely that a grocer would invest $16 million in a new store in Wilde Lake.
Traditional grocery stores are feeling the same competitive pressure as other retailers. They are now attracted to centers that offer much more than the old village center model. A prime example is the Long Gate Shopping Center in Ellicott City where a Safeway shares space with Target, Kohl’s, Barnes & Noble, an Old Navy, Staples, and Michaels.
As painful as it is for some older residents of the village to accept, it is time to accept this reality and move forward with a new model for Wilde Lake.