Two years after the Mars grocery store closed its doors in Timonium, the Padonia Village shopping center is angling for a comeback with the opening of grocery store Green Valley Marketplace.
David Donato, senior vice president at Padonia Village owner Continental Realty, said the store will be open to the public Friday, Dec. 14.
“We were fortunate to find a local grocer in Green Valley,” Donato said, adding that they have “really impressive customer service … [and] a more curated experience than national chains.”
Donato said Padonia Village struggled after losing Mars.
A grocery store, he said, is an ideal shopping center anchor because people tend to shop there once a week or more and it “drives traffic to the center.” So after Mars closed, Donato said, the company’s main priority was “getting another grocery store back in there.”
Since signing a lease with Green Valley, Donato said the shopping center has leased nearby spaces in Padonia Village to three new businesses: a dental group, a Mexican restaurant and a Vietnamese pho restaurant.
As for the remaining vacant spaces, Donato said, “we have interest in every space.”
Commercial real estate marketing company Real Capital Markets found in a May 2018 report that while big-box retail is struggling, shopping centers with grocery store anchors “are performing well and are in great demand.”
“There is a general consensus that grocery-anchored retail centers will be around forever and, as long as they are, will be among the most attractive and highly sought-after investments,” the report said.
“From losing the grocery anchor to the replacement grocery anchor, the demand is through the roof for this space,” Donato said.
The company has renovated the facade of the anchor space in anticipation of Green Valley’s opening and is expected to renovate the rest of the facades and open new businesses by the summer of 2019, Donato said.
Green Valley Marketplace officials did not immediately return a request for comment.