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Confirmed: Cape to get Fresh Market grocery

By Staff | May 18, 2017

A Fresh Market official confirmed Wednesday that the specialty grocer is coming to Cape Coral.

“I can confirm it’s coming but that’s the only information I can provide,” the Fresh Market spokesperson said when reached by phone.

According to information on the city of Cape Coral website, a site plan permit was issued for “The Fresh Market at Coralwood Mall” on April 21 with the applicant being Avalon Engineering and the General Contractor listed as Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Construction. The site plan permit had been applied for last October and approved Nov. 28 for the project at 2301 Del Prado Blvd. S. between the Home Goods and Bealls Outlet stores where construction is under way.

Permitting for a project listed as the Fresh Market unit 1030 exterior remodel, designated as a remodel with sewer, with a valuation of $1.6 million, is dated March 2017.

Speculation about the project has been perking last February when the Cape Coral City Council unanimously approved a request for an unnamed national grocery chain to display seasonal merchandise outside a 28,000-square-foot space then being negotiated in the Coralwood Shopping Center.

Grocery store merchandise displayed outdoors is not allowed by city ordinance without Council approval. Avalon Engineering, representing Coralwood Mall owners, made the exception request for a chain described to operate 168 stores in 27 states with outdoor displays being a standard practice, information then consistent with the Fresh Market Web site.

The grocery chain, founded in North Carolina in 1982, now has more than 170 locations with approximately 18 in Florida including one in Fort Myers at 13499 S Cleveland Ave. and another in Bonita Springs at 27251 Bay Landing Drive. The company was acquired by an Apollo Global Management, LLC affiliate last March.

The Coralwood Shopping Center has undergone a major revitalization in the last two years.

In 2016 it attracted both a HomeGoods, which opened its 23,773-square-foot store there in March, and an Ulta Beauty, which in October opened in a prime corner anchor position that previously housed first a Kmart, then a Sears.

HomeGoods, an “off-price home d’cor retailer,” which operates more than 500 stores across the country and is a division of The TJX Companies Inc., announced 65 full and part time positions.

Ulta Beauty is the largest beauty retailer in the United States. Since opening in 1990, the chain has opened more than 800 stores across 48 states with the Coralwood Shopping Center location featuring more than 20,000 beauty products across 550 brands, as well as a full-service salon.

A Beall’s Outlet also re-located to a larger unit on the soon-to-be wholly revitalized north end of the center.

Meanwhile, a Starbucks and a Chipolte Mexican Grill have opened in a new multi-unit 6,038-square-foot out parcel building along Del Prado Boulevard and a Lennys Grill & Subs, a chain specializing in Philly-style cheesesteaks and sliced-to-order subs opened in the center.

Other tenants include LA Fitness, JC Penny, Beall’s Department Store and a 10-screen Marquee Cinemas. Other businesses among its two-dozen restaurant, retail and services tenant mix also include a Sally’s Beauty Supply, GNC, Sports Clips, Eye Centers of Florida and two long-time popular local eateries, Mangia Bene and The Cafe.

Coralwood is attracting national tenants due to its centralized location near the intersection of Del Prado Boulevard and Veteran’s Parkway, Stiles Realty Vice President Jill Gull said in a statement released when the announcement of the Starbucks and Chipolte leases was made last April.

“This intersection provides exposure to the highest average daily traffic counts in Cape Coral at 115,500 cars per day, ” she said.

No details as to project completion or a planned opening date for the Fresh Market could be determined Wednesday.