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November 18, 2021

Market Basket grocery chain may expand Maine footprint with proposed Topsham store

File photo Market Basket, whose Rock Row location in Westbrook is shown here, plans its third Maine supermarket in Topsham.

Supermarket chain Market Basket may add its third location in Maine — in Topsham — if the town gives an OK to Massachusetts real estate developer John Matthews.

Matthews and his company Topsco LLC are preparing to submit a proposal for the project to the Topsham Planning Board, and on Tuesday submitted a pre-application sketch for the 80,000-square-foot grocery store. It would be at 169 Topsham Fair Mall Road, on a 17.4-acre undeveloped site adjacent to the mall's Target and Home Depot stores.

Matthews, based in Newbury, Mass., has been involved in shopping center development for more than 30 years. His recent projects include the Market Basket at Riverside Landing complex in Plymouth, N.H., and the Market Basket currently under construction at Merchants Way in Concord, N.H., slated to open next year.

The Topsham location would feature a Market’s Kitchen and Café, offering dine-in and takeout meals, along with the extensive food selections throughout the store. The proposal also calls for 440 parking spaces, as well as improvements to Topsham Fair Mall Road such as a roundabout for vehicle access and pedestrian and bicycle paths.

“This is just a fantastic location for a Market Basket,” Matthews said in a statement Wednesday. “It will add a much-needed supermarket option to a well-established regional shopping destination at the convergence of high capacity roadways."

Topsham Fair Mall already includes a Hannaford supermarket, and there are two nearby in Brunswick.

According to the application, Topsco acquired the land for an undisclosed price in July. The proposal outlines the development of a supermarket but does not name Market Basket.

Rod Melanson, Topsham's planning director, said the developer revealed Market Basket as the supermarket occupant during the board's meeting on Tuesday. Topsco still needs to submit a formal review application and get several approvals, including an environmental permit and a Maine Department of Transportation permit for traffic movement.

"It's a large review. It takes time," Melanson said. "They would like it to go sooner rather than later, but it's a process."

Tewksbury, Mass.-based Market Basket did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

"Market Basket is committed to this site if the developer receives the necessary approvals," the spokesman for Matthews said.

This would be the third Market Basket in Maine, following its Biddeford store, which opened in 2013 and one that opened at Rock Row in Westbrook last year. Currently Market Basket operates 86 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.

“Market Basket has proven to be tremendously popular in Maine and they are very interested in the opportunity to further serve the residents of the state,” Matthews said.

The store would create about 350 new jobs, according to the spokesman.

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