Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Retail Retraction

Last September I reported that REI had leased but not occupied a store at Gateway Overlook in Columbia. A anonymous commenter on that particular post wrote “as an employee at the College Park REI I'm pretty sure this is bupkus. There were lots of rumors swirling around this space when it first opened, but we do not have a lease. You may be thinking of HTO; that was the last rumor I heard.”

Well Anon 5:33 PM it turns out that you were right. The story that REI had leased the space is bupkus.

It also turns out that you were on the right track about Hudson Trail Outfitters. HTO was actually considering opening a store in this location but backed out of the deal before signing a lease.

After HTO backed out it looked like Fresh Market might take the space. Fresh Market is a North Carolina based specialty grocer. Interestingly they are opening their second Maryland store today in Annapolis at the Annapolis Harbour Center. Their first Maryland store opened in July 2007 in Quarry Lake at Greenspring in Baltimore County.

In the end Fresh Market opted to take a pass on the Gateway Overlook space too.

It is also interesting to note that typical Fresh Market stores are almost the same size as the vacant grocery store space in Wilde Lake. Memo to Kimco: Call Fresh Market.

After failing to find a retailer to take the entire 20,000 square foot space, General Growth Properties has now decided to subdivide the space. They have since signed leases with Richmond American Homes for a home “gallery” and with Today’s Pet which is expanding and relocating from its location store in The Mall.

That will leave approximately 4,000 square feet available at Gateway Overlook.


Freemarket said...

HTO would have been awesome. Huge bummer.

Anonymous said...

fresh market has said "no" to wilde lake. more than once.

Young at Heart said...

Do you know why Fresh Market has nixed the Wilde Lake location? Information like that is important to Wilde Lake and the VCs in general.

Anonymous said...

Great. I'm sure Today's Pet needs a bigger fridge to keep all the dead puppy mill dogs in.

Adopt from a shelter! Don't buy a sick inbred animal on impulse!

Anonymous said...

I Love Fresh Market! Wilde Lake would have been a perfect spot for them. A shame...

Anonymous said...


Too far from the highway and Wegmans.

Cathy said...

Will we ever get a Whole Foods in Columbia??
I would have been very happy with an REI or Hudson Trail. Otherwise no interest in the stores that plan to occupy the space.

Anonymous said...

Hello Wordbones! I've been waiting quite a while to give you this bit of information and could not find an email address to send it to you, so I found the next best place...

"REI to Outfit Outdoor Enthusiasts with New Store in Columbia, Md. this Fall

SEATTLE – REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced plans to open a new store at Columbia Crossing in Columbia, Md. this fall.

The 24,000 square-foot store will equip customers and members with gear and apparel from the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, including the award-winning REI brand and Novara bike products. The new store will feature a bike shop for quick assemblies or repairs, a gear rental department to explore new activities, and a community space for the co-op and its non-profit partners to host outdoor-related classes, events and presentations."