Monday, August 11, 2008

Great Harvest Bread leaving 143rd: Give us our daily bread

The bleeding continues for retail strip mall dwellers in sojoco at the bermuda triangle of retailers hopes and dreams. The strip mall developments around 143rd and Metcalf continue to struggle. Anchor tenant Dillon's grocery pulled out some time ago and the aftermath has been rough.

In an area demographers would call can't miss based on home values, income, education, etc can't seem to find it's baseline for large or small tenants and we are the ones losing. Dinky and Coco's closed as well as the custard store. In the face of that and other's closing their doors the Great Harvest Bread Company announced it is pulling the plug on their southern most outpost and will retreat back to the north end of joco.

This is too bad. We'll miss them. My family bought at least 2 loaves a week from them. I loved the multi-grain bread there. It was so good. Sorry guys, we just can't eat anymore than that....They are always so nice. My kids loved going in there and getting a warm slice of fresh bread.

So what's the end game for this area's retail woes? Well, with the retail a little further down at 151st and Nall struggling to fill up, I'm not sure it gets better anytime soon. Maybe some payday loan operations and rent to own stores? Maybe an adult bookstore, massage parlor and finally a full fledged gentleman's club?

In talking to people who would know I understand that the Tanner's on the corner of 143rd and Metcalf is their best performer and I think the Lionsgate Wines and Spirits generally looks pretty busy. I've always said quality wins but then why would Great Harvest not make it?

Rumors have persisted about what will take the place of Dillon's and certainly that space will hold the key to the future. We've heard Whole Foods or even a Trader Joe's. Either would be great although I'm not sure we need another grocer. Trader Joe's would awesome.

Anyway, if you loved Great Harvest like we did you'll have to either make a special trip north of I435 or go back to buying crap bread at Price Chopper again.


Anonymous said...

How is Tanners considered Quality?
143rd and Metcalf might be struggling because the office parks on that corner are also struggling. The Apartment complex to the north and south are at 68%

Good Blog!

JOCOeveryman said...

You make a good point....I agree with you that Tanner's doesn't have great food but the beer is cold....and instead of quality I should have perhaps said they are a good business operator.

Very interesting that the apartments have such low occupancy. I wouldn't have thought that.....they must be pretty expensive.

Thanks for commenting. Come back.

meesha.v said...

in the meantime they are building more retail on 135th and metcalf and east of there. i never understood why would they do that.

JOCOeveryman said...

Yep, it is like everyone else thinks they have a better plan and they keep on building. I think people look at the demographics and can't help themselves.

travel said...

Price Chopper is taking over JO CO grocery stores everywhere it seems. I'd like a little variety. Forget Trader Joes. People have begged them to come here and they will not.

I live in far western JO CO. We're lucky to have a gas I really wish we were part of Douglas County.

Jay said...

Dillons pulled out because they were not making any money, which is their own fault. The Kroger Company, which owns Dillons didn't know to compete with HyVee, Hen House and Price Chopper. Dillons didn't catering. Their crap in the deli was all heat and serve. The bakery was thaw, heat and serve. It's no wonder that they didn't make it. Sad, though because it was one of the nicest Dillon's Stores. Home things look up for that area soon! Maybe a Chick-fil-A.

JOCOeveryman said...

Jay, it is way more complicated than they weren't making any money. There was construction that made it difficult to get to for us east of the store AND we now know that Kroger was positioning to sell Dillon's off which they did not too long after. I don't buy ready to eat food at any grocery store so I wouldn't know about that but the RTE stuff at the 135th and Antioch store doesn't look much better. I'll agree that they weren't known for the same quality as Hen House or Price Chopper but pretty similar to HyVee in my opinion. I like Chick-fil-a.

Do you work in grocery? You seem pretty knowledgeable about it.

Thanks for posting a comment, Jay.

meesha.v said...

btw, recently the star mentioned Realtor reports that Trader Joes was looking for a spot just on the other side of the state line so they don't have to deal with stupid liquor regulations.

JOCOeveryman said...


That is a great comment. Wine and liquor is a big part of their business plan and they wouldn't be able to sell it in Kansas. Probably accurate. Thanks.