If all goes as planned, longtime customers of the 63-year-old Acme Fresh Market No. 10 store will be making their Thanksgiving dinner purchases in a brand new $8 million building located at the same State Road site.
City Council’s planning and zoning committee on Monday recommended that an ordinance approving the site plan for a new 52,500-square-foot Acme store be presented to full council next week for a vote.
Fred Guerra, city planning director, gave council members an update on the project Monday. He said both the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals have signed off on the plan, which required a number of variances for setbacks and other items.
The new grocery store will be located just south of the present 33,000-square-foot building on land acquired during the past decade by Albrecht Inc., the retail and industrial real estate arm of the Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co.
Access to the site from State Road will be improved once it’s moved about 60 feet south of the present entrance. A traffic light will be synchronized with the one nearby at North Haven Boulevard to allow for steady traffic flow.
“This is really a great project for the site … it’s going to be a big improvement,” Guerra said.
Jim Nilsen, president and treasurer of Albecht Inc., said the customer base at the State Road Acme “has been enormously patient” awaiting improvements to the store built in 1949.
“At one time it was a state-of-the-art grocery store,” Nilsen said. By today’s standards, though, “it’s way, way undersized.”
The company is planning to break ground for the new store around May 1, with completion tentatively scheduled for early November.
Nilsen said the company has been buying adjacent parcels of land for years in preparation for an expansion. Once the firm had acquired a total of nearly three acres, though, it was decided to build new – while keeping the present store open so as not to inconvenience loyal customers.
A small apartment building and an old auto garage will be demolished to make way for the new store. Also to be razed is the Abbey Ann’s thrift store across State Road from Acme’s site, as the company purchased that parcel to create a 38-space parking lot for employees. The existing Acme store will be torn down once its replacement is constructed.
The deli/meat, bakery, perishables, prepared foods and floral department will all be expanded in the redesign. Once the new store is open, Acme will be adding 40 employees to the existing 70.
Nilsen said the overall project cost, including land acquisition, represents a $9.2 million investment for both Albrecht companies.
The end result, he said, “Will be a shining star along the State Road corridor.”