After hinting last month that a new store was on its way, it looks like bargain grocery chain Food 4 Less will soon fill the spot left vacant when Haggen Food and Pharmacy closed in Arroyo Grande in November.
Commercial real estate company Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. announced in a news release Tuesday that it had leased the building in the Five Cities Center on Branch Street to PAQ Inc., which owns the Food 4 Less franchise locally.
HFF represented Haggen Property Holdings LLC, which left the state after an ill-fated expansion that left the company overstretched, eventually leading it to declare bankruptcy last year.
PAQ Inc. purchased the property for an undisclosed price, and it will operate and manage the store under the Food 4 Less banner, according to the news release.
PAQ Inc. and city representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment on the announcement.
The city has been without a major grocery store since the 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. Many residents have wondered over the past eight months when a new grocery store would come in.
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.