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January 17, 2019

Supermarket competition heats up with Hannaford's plans to add new store in Brunswick

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
Hannaford Supermarkets announced Wednesday it will locate a store in the former Bookland and adjacent Staples space at the Cook’s Corner Mall in Brunswick — a project providing a significant boost to a mall that lost several tenants in the last decade.

Hannaford Supermarkets announced Wednesday it will locate a store in the former Bookland and adjacent Staples space at the Cook's Corner Mall in Brunswick — a project providing a significant boost to a mall that lost several tenants in the last decade.

The second Hannaford store in Brunswick is expected to bring about 150 new full- and part-time jobs, the Scarborough-based chain announced Wednesday. The new 50,000-square-foot Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy will fill much of the mall's nearly empty outdoor end.

The Staples store fills one large outdoor unit, in between the long-empty Bookland space and the indoor portion of the mall. Indoor units include TJ Maxx, Big Lots and Dollar Tree, as well as some smaller stores and service businesses.

A Sears department store at the end of the indoor portion anchors the mall's other end.

Daniel Katz, principal of owner Katz Properties LLC, the mall's owner, was not immediately available for comment this morning.

As part of the project, which is being completed in partnership with Katz Properties, Staples will relocate within the mall. Further details weren't immediately available.

Pending permit approval, Hannaford expects to begin construction this summer.

There is already a Shaw's supermarket in the Cook's Corner area, at 147 Bath Road, but Linda Smith, Brunswick economic development director, told The Times Record that there are enough customers in the area for both stores.

Hannaford's new Cook's Corner supermarket will join its downtown store on Brunswick's Maine Street and its supermarket at the Topsham Fair Mall in Topsham in competing against Shaw's supermarkets in Brunswick and Bath and a Walmart SuperCenter store near Cook's Corner.

More than 400 residential units are being added to adjacent Brunswick Landing, which is expected to increase the number of shoppers in the Cook's Corner area. An access road is being built from Gurnet, behind the mall, into the residential area of Brunswick Landing to help accommodate increased traffic.

The shopping center is part of a larger 302,003-square-foot shopping complex, which includes other buildings as well, at the corner of Bath and Gurnet roads.

Katz Properties, headquartered in New York, bought the property in 2016 for $13.25 million. At that time, Katz told Mainebiz he saw the property as a high-traffic, "community power center" with plenty of opportunity.

Katz Properties is a real estate investment, development and management company that focuses on shopping centers along the East Coast. Katz said the firm's acquisition criteria include properties that are 50,000 square feet or more, with a value of at least $10 million.

Hannaford's 64th Maine supermarket

The Cook's Corner store will be Hannaford's 64th supermarket in Maine. The company operates 181 stores in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, employing more than 26,000 people.

Hannaford will continue to operate the Maine Street Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy, which it plans to renovate, according to the release.

The 50,000-square-foot store at Cook's Corner will offer a pharmacy with drive-through as well as Hannaford To Go, a service that allows customers to select items online and pick up their orders at the store.

"We are proud to be investing further in our state, bringing new jobs to the area and strengthening our relationship with the community," Hannaford spokesman Eric Blom said in the release.

Blom said it's expected the new store will contribute to local nonprofit organizations, civic groups and hunger-relief efforts. Last year, Hannaford donated more than 23 million pounds of rescued food to help feed hungry individuals in the cities and towns it serves.

The company opened a new store in Mechanic Falls in July, its first new store in Maine since 2015. The store, at 28 Pigeon Hill Road, was expected to employ between 80 and 100 full-time and part-time workers.

The chain is owned by Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, which has more than 6,500 stores worldwide. It is the world's fifth-largest grocery retailer and also owns the Food Lion, Stop & Shop and other regional chains in the United States

Hannaford is also remodeling several stores, including in Ellsworth, Auburn and Topsham, part of a program to remodel and upgrade 115 stores.

This month, Ericka Dodge, Hannaford's manager of external communications, told Mainebiz that the Ellsworth store has had increased activity beyond seasonal influxes.

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