PTC mounts email campaign to lure Fresh Market here

Peachtree City officials are hoping a grassroots email campaign will convince a specialty grocer to fill the empty space left behind by the “baby Kroger” at the Peachtree Crossing Shopping Center in the geographic middle of the city.
The Fresh Market was very close to reaching an agreement with the shopping center and Kroger, the current lease holder, to locate a Fresh Market store there, city officials said. But the company’s board of directors ultimately nixed the move, officials said.
Citizens who would shop at The Fresh Market are being encouraged to send emails to the company via the city’s website. The emails should be addressed to stephensmith@thefreshmarket.net and cydcarter@thefreshmarket.net.
An email link to the company also is provided in the weekly UPDATE newsletter emailed to city residents.
The update is also available for download from www.peachtree-city.org/index.aspx?NID=135.
The Fresh Market is touted as a “specialty neighborhood” grocery store which places a strong emphasis on customer service and a variety of services including an old-style butcher shop and fish market, bakery, produce and floral stands, and delicatessen.
The Development Authority of Peachtree City has been working on finding the ideal business to fill the former Kroger space.
Authority member Mark Hollums, who has been working on that effort, said with the economy not being so hot, many companies are not looking to expand.
Hollums said city residents would like to see an upscale grocer come to the site. He said one such company he is looking into, H-Mart, is an international grocer located in Riverdale and offers a large produce section with a food court and significant fresh meat offerings as well. H-Mart also has locations in Duluth, Johns Creek, Suwanee and Doraville.
Contrary to rumors, Kroger has been actively marketing the store and has been willing to allow another grocer there, Hollums said. Kroger’s lease on the site expires next year.
Among potential uses discussed but ultimately dismissed for the site include a bowling alley and classroom space for Clayton State University.
The 32,000-square-foot building hosted the city’s first chain grocery store, Big Star, which later became Harris Teeter before that company was purchased by Kroger, which converted the store into one of its smaller operations.
Kroger closed the store in March, citing finances as the main reason. That left a significant hole in the shopping center’s retail makeup, leaving existing businesses hoping for a significant replacement to help increase traffic at Peachtree Crossings.
Prior to the store closing, Kroger last year announced it would sub-let the site to the Goodwill corporation, but the move was opposed by tenants and neighbors who didn’t want the Kroger store to close.

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