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.
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