Next Week’s Friendly Avenue rezoning may have more to do with a drug store deal than a site for Trader Joe’s. The Business Journal reports that Trader Joe’s is passing on this site and on Greensboro.
“We are no longer interested in the proposed site in Greensboro, and we are not interested in any other sites in Greensboro at this time,” said Alison Mochizuki, Trader Joe’s spokeswoman, in an email to The Business Journal.
I’d speculate that the Trader Joe’s deal was window dressing all along for the drug store deal. Walgreen’s can pay a significant premium (sometimes up to $3-4 million) for a high profile corner, while TJ tends to get cheap deals as the draw/anchor for a shopping center. Given the developer’s costs in this deal, I’m guessing rents would have been north of $40/sf, while Trader Joe’s is used to rents in the low 20’s in a market like Greensboro.
I would expect the developer to move forward with the rezoning, because it’s not about Trader Joe’s. The big question is if there will still be the same outpouring of support for a drug store with a drive thru.