Ottawa-based Farm Boy Inc. says it will open a new store in Orleans this summer, less than a kilometer from where it closed up shop four years ago.
© Joël Côté-Cright
Jeff York, CEO of the Farm Boy chain.
The 21,000-square-foot store will be located at 3035 St. Joseph Blvd. in front of Place d'Orleans Shopping Centre, and will include an eat-in seating area, outdoor patio and floor-to-ceiling windows.
"With the growth in the east end, we've seen that we can put another store in the market," says Jeff York, CEO of the local grocery chain.
Being close to the shopping centre, which will eventually include a Target, will make the area a "landmark" retail destination, he says.
"We can attract Cumberland and Rockland shoppers to come in off (Highways) 17 and 174," Mr. York says.
While the land where the store is being constructed is owned by the shopping mall, the free-standing building itself will be owned by Farm Boy. The grocer and the shopping centre's owner, Primaris REIT, negotiated a lease, according to Mr. York.
For Chris St. Amand, the general manager of Place d'Orleans, the construction of the new Farm Boy is the culmination of several years of work.
"There has been a mutual interest in having Farm Boy as part of the shopping centre," says Mr. St. Amand. "Its brand is very strong in the minds of Ottawa consumers."
The closure of a Market Fresh location located in the mall in 2006, as well as and a nearby Loblaw's converting to a No Frills outlet, left a gap in the market for a fresh-foods grocer, he says.
The property management firm tore down the existing building several years ago after its lease with the tenant expired. After conducting market research, Primaris wanted a grocery store in the space and Farm Boy was examining places to build a store in the area, Mr. St. Amand says.
"It's further evidence of a reemergence of the Town Centre area overall as a commercial hub," he adds.
Farm Boy closed an earlier store in December 2007, located on Centrum Boulevard, causing frustration with many area residents. Mr. York says the space was "inadequate" for the store's needs, requiring a move to its current Tenth Line location.
The grocer currently has 11 stores in Ottawa and Cornwall,opening its latest location Stittsville last year. Farm Boy currently employs a total of about 1,500 staff, with the Orleans market expected to create 125 new jobs.