|New Look for Clairemont Village|
Click here for full size
In the past few months activity at the site has generated a lot of speculation among local residents. Trees that were buckling the parking lot were removed, a couple of businesses closed unexpectedly and engineers and surveyors were spotted as well. On social media people reported having heard all sorts of information, from employees of the grocery, other tenants of the center, and from customers about what was going on and what stores might be moving in.
Today, Kleege Enterprises announced to the Clairemont Community News that a Sprouts Farmers Market will be opening in the space currently occupied by Keils. In addition, the space will be expanded from 26,000 square feet to 32,688 square feet. Stores on the west side of Keils (shoe repair, vet, etc.) will remain. On the other side, the jewelry store, the tailor and barber are expected to move to other locations in the center as that area becomes part of the market. The Hometown Buffet space will remain and is being considered now by several tenants (no names until lease is signed!).
Sprouts is a familiar name in Clairemont, well known for its extensive produce section and organic health and beauty products. The new store will be bigger than the one on Genesee, offering more of the everyday products bigger supermarkets generally have.
"We’re excited to announce that we’ve executed a lease in the Clairemont Village with the intent to open a store in Fall 2017," Diego Romero, Sprouts' Corporate Communications Manager said. "There is a strong demand for healthy groceries at great prices in the area and we look forward to bringing our abundant selection to the neighborhood. We plan to share more details next year. In the meantime, residents can look forward to the convenience of a new Sprouts nearby featuring all of our latest amenities, including an expanded deli."
It isn't just the name or size of the store that is changing, the existing 1960's “Town and Country” style of the center is getting a makeover as well. The new look is “Contemporary Beach” style architecture with beach colors accompanied by canvas and metal awnings, metal louver grilles and wood slats for a contemporary appearance.
Naturally, a building that old has plenty of issues beyond what color to paint the facade. The infrastructure is going to need a lot of work to get it ready for the new tenant. According to Chris Smith, one of the partners at Kleege, the company is spending $4 to $5 million on the building, and he estimated that Spouts will spend several million on the interior as well.
A project this big isn't something accomplished in a few months. Keils will be open another 60 days, closing at the end of October. The new Sprouts is expected to open in the fall of 2017. That means a few months of inconvenience as those accustomed to shopping at Keils will need to find temporary alternatives.
Once the store opens, the partners at Kleege Enterprises feel confident the neighborhood will be very happy with the choice of a new expanded Sprouts Farmers Market. They also believe the bigger store will attract more shoppers and more new stores to serve them, creating a vibrant commercial center for this part of Clairemont/Bay Park.