By Jen Aronoff, Charlotte Observer
Bi-Lo plans to close its location on Park Road in Dilworth to make way for central Charlotte's first Bloom store.
The landlord was looking for new opportunities for the space, said Mike Lucier, retail services broker with CB Richard Ellis. The building will be gutted and refaced, and the parking lot redone and landscaped. Work should begin in May or June, Lucier said.
The store is projected to open in early 2010, said Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokeswoman for Food Lion, which operates Bloom.
Bloom integrates technology and gourmet and convenience foods into the shopping experience. The store will also have a pharmacy, Lucier said.
“It's an excellent opportunity for them to enter the market, probably one of the few remaining properties that could support a grocery store located in the heart of one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Charlotte,” he said. “This is just a newer, fresher concept … All the houses around it in the neighborhood have gone through a renovation, and it's just time for that project to follow suit.”
The redevelopment is also set to include 7,000 square feet of new retail space along the east side of the parking lot, opposite the plaza that includes the Comet Grill, which will remain. The aim is to bring complementary neighborhood service retailers such as a restaurant or bagel shop, Lucier said.
The roughly 45,000-square- foot grocery store opened as a Kroger in 1982 and converted to Bi-Lo in the late 1980s. It's set to close at 7p.m. April 25.
Situated between Harris Teeter locations – one on East Boulevard, the other at Park Road Shopping Center – the store had long served as a neighborhood alternative. However, it had not been remodeled recently and had begun to look increasingly timeworn. Even before signs announcing the closing went up, the selection of goods on the shelves was thinning.
The store's pharmacy will close a day earlier, on April 24. Prescriptions will be automatically transferred to the CVS at 1533 South Boulevard.
Mauldin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo said Thursday that the Dilworth closure is unrelated to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last month.
The store employs more than 40 workers. Many will have the chance to transfer to another location, while those for whom alternate positions are unavailable will receive severance, the company said.