The City and RMS learned this afternoon from The Fresh Market leadership that their store located in The Van Aken Center in Shaker Heights is closing and they will abandon their plans to break ground at the former Qua Buick location in 2016.
The grocery chain was purchased by Apollo Global Management LLC on April 27, 2016. Since that time, The Fresh Market leadership has worked with RMS and the City to gain site plan and Architectural Board of Review approval for the new store. However, The Fresh Market's new owner instead chose to abruptly close the Shaker Heights store and abandon the Cleveland market altogether. The Shaker store is one of over a dozen store closings and canceled openings by the new ownership team as they assess their brand strategy.
The Fresh Market's decision in no way affects RMS' plans for the Van Aken District phase one development. The Shaker Plaza revitalization is well underway with Pearl Asian Kitchen, New Balance and D.O. Summers joining existing tenants Walgreens, China Star, Shaker Wines and Qdoba. Subway, Frames Unlimited and Donatos will open in August. The new facade facing Chagrin Boulevard will welcome new tenants in the fall, such as Marc Anthoni Spa.
RMS plans to demolish the south-facing wing of Van Aken Center in early September to begin development of the first phase of the $100M project, which includes 60,000 square feet of office, 100,000 square feet of retail and 100 apartments overlooking the park.
Read more about the development plans in the following two Plain Dealer stories: