Sleiman Enterprises and Earth Fare announced the return of the natural and organic foods grocer to Sleiman’s Shoppes of St. Johns Parkway in St. Johns County, which raises the question about the store’s potential return to East Arlington.
Earth Fare in February closed three stores in Northeast Florida – the St. Johns County, Arlington and Mandarin locations. Winn-Dixie took over the Mandarin store.
The chain declared bankruptcy but is reopening with new investors.
With the return to St. Johns County, that leaves the East Arlington location available in the Atlantic North shopping center at 11901 Atlantic Blvd. at northwest Kernan and Atlantic boulevards.
Jacksonville-based Sleiman Enterprises intends to fill in the shopping center with more retailers. Director of Marketing Samantha Ashcraft said Jan. 14 that Sleiman hopes to have tenant announcements there in the next 30 days.
Ashcraft would not say if the grocer was among them.
Earth Fare Director of Marketing Betsy Bevis said Jan. 18 she did not have an update about the Atlantic North store.
Atlantic North comprises an inline shopping center and several outparcels.
The inline center is anchored by Belk, Academy Sports + Outdoors, LA Fitness and the closed Earth Fare, with spaces between Belk and Earth Fare and more from Academy to LA Fitness.
Sleiman Enterprises has been detailing plans to fill in those areas by more than 100,000 square feet of retail space, boosting the center to more than 333,000 square feet of inline retail space.
Sleiman submitted plans in August to the St. Johns River Water Management District to add seven retail units in the main strip.
Plans show two retail units between Belk and the closed Earth Fare store, which is adjacent to Academy Sports + Outdoors. There are five new shops shown on plans between Academy and LA Fitness.
The 24,832-square-foot Earth Fare space is shown as available.
No tenants were identified. President Toney Sleiman said previously that he is working with Best Buy, but did not confirm it would be in Atlantic North.
Meanwhile, four other new ventures are set to open or build on outparcels in Atlantic North.
Owner Ariosto Valerio Jr. expects to open The Baker’s Son by Valerio’s Filipino bakeshop Jan. 28 in one of the outparcel buildings. Accelerated Contractors LLC is building-out the 1,730-square-foot shell space at 11957 Atlantic Blvd., No. 101, next to Great Clips and Venetian Nail Spa at a cost of $445,344.
On another outparcel, the city issued a permit Jan. 12 for The Angelo Group Inc. to build a Scrubbles 3 Minute Express Wash, dumpster enclosure and canopy at 11991 Atlantic Blvd. at a cost of $690,000.
On a third, JEA issued a service availability letter for Starbucks to build a coffee shop. It is shown on site plans for Atlantic North.
Those outparcels front the inline shopping center.
Developed outparcels include 7-Eleven; MedExpress Urgent Care; Panda Express; and two multitenant buildings.
One of the multitenant buildings includes Venetian Nail Spa, Great Clips and The Baker’s Son. The other includes Another Broken Egg Cafe, Fancy Sushi and Verizon Wireless.
Two more outparcels are available on the property anchored by the strip center.
Marketplace Drive runs from Atlantic Boulevard next to Belk. West of that street, RaceTrac opened a gas station and a Cinemark theater is under development.
On an outparcel there, the city is reviewing a permit application for a Whataburger restaurant on an outparcel at 11559 Atlantic Blvd. No contractor is listed for the 3,760-square-foot project on 1.25 acres at an estimated project cost of $1 million.
Another outparcel is available behind Cinemark.