For close to seven months, residents in Arroyo Grande have had one question on their minds: “When will we get a grocery store?”
The city has been without a major grocery store since the ill-fated Haggen Food and Pharmacy chain closed in November, leaving residents with the choice of going to smaller outfits like Trader Joe’s or Smart & Final, or venturing outside of the city for their grocery needs.
Now, Arroyo Grande City Manager Dianne Thompson is hinting that a new store could be on its way soon.
Thompson mentioned at a meeting of the City Council on May 24, and confirmed with The Tribune on Monday, that “lease transactions are being concluded” for the vacant space, and an announcement is expected this month regarding a new grocery store.
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Thompson said city staff have been conducting outreach with commercial property brokers, the property owner and the firm handling the leasing arrangements for the former Haggen location since the chain closed this past year.
The process has been long and difficult, however, because of confusion over who owned the property lease, which tied up negotiations while Haggen was pursuing bankruptcy.
Those issues seem to have been resolved; however, there is no word yet on exactly what grocery store might be moving in.
During the May 24 Arroyo Grande City Council meeting, Thompson also said the property owner for the Arroyo Grande Shopping Center — the future home of Chipotle and Five Guys burger chain — has been in negotiations with a grocery store to replace the Cookie Crock, which went out of business in 2014.
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