Is Earth Fare Opening in Jeopardy?

Company isn't talking about its plans now that shopping center faces foreclosure


Three months after Earth Fare confirmed rumors it would move into the former Borders store here, there has been no movement and no word from the healthy supermarket about what's going on.

Complicating the situation is that there is a foreclosure suit against the owner of the plaza.

"It's all up in the air right now," Brent Painter, Strongsville's economic development director, said. "I've tried to get in contact with Earth Fare, but I haven't been able to."

The company's assistant marketing director, Kristi Kanzig, could not be reached for comment.

U.S. Bank filed a foreclosure action in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court against Ledgewood Equities, the owner of the shopping center.

It was filed a few weeks after Earth Fare agreed to take over the 27,000-square-foot spot formerly occupied by Borders.

Painter said the foreclosure appears to have impacted the deal with Earth Fare.

"From what I've heard, it's not a dead deal -- they'd still like to go in there, but this is certainly a bump in the road," he said.

Painter also said that although Earth Fare announced it had signed a lease in August, the North Carolina-based company never submitted any plans with the city.

Earth Fare operates 28 stores in eight states -- including Fairview Park and Fairlawn -- and offers natural foods like local and organic fruits and vegetables. The store also has a full-service meat, poultry and fish department.

It does not carry any items containing high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors and sweeteners, or synthetic growth hormones in meat and milk.

Borders closed in September 2011.

LeeAnn Mullen December 28, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I spoke with the social media manager for Earth Fare today and she explained that it IS indeed going to happen and that we should "expect an official announcement in the coming months." Ambiguous, but hopeful. I've been hoping for an Earth Fare or Whole Foods in the area. I'm pumped!
Debbie Palmer December 28, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Thanks for the information, LeAnn!


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