Natural Grocery Store close to deal on Albertsons property

June 16, 2015 | by Erin Sirianni

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Which-GrocerThe grocery store update at last night’s City Council meeting was tantalizing but fell short of satisfying. While City Manager Noel Treat confirmed that there is a “natural foods market” in serious negotiations with the owner of the Albertsons property, he kept mum on exactly which grocery store that might be.

“That negotiation is pretty close to successful conclusion, so maybe in a few weeks, there will be a public announcement made,” he said.

While the City Council and attendees were eager for more information, Treat said that the parties had requested that their identities remain in confidence while they are still negotiating and do not have a deal. Such a request is not uncommon for food industry businesses, which must negotiate complicated leases.

Despite the announcement and in hope that the mystery grocer is PCC, the “Bring PCC to Mercer Island” group has pledged to continue on with their advocacy. They topped 1200 Facebook members today and continue circulating their survey and postcards for mailing to PCC’s CEO.

Also making the rounds on Facebook is Metropolitan Market’s post and graphic (at right): “Hey #MercerIsland friends! We’ve heard you loud and clear and we’d love to be your everyday grocer. Share this and #MetMarketMercerIsland to show your support and check back often for updates!”

The post has gotten 92 “shares” so far and is followed by a train of mostly enthusiastic comments, such as “A dream come true!!!! Please!”

Metropolitan Market CEO and Founder Terry Halverson attended the council meeting, and during public comment, shared the grocer’s longstanding interest in opening a branch on the island.

“That’s why I’m here tonight – to throw our name in the hat, whether it’s us or PCC, a great local company as well that we admire,” he said. “I think there is definitely enough business on the island for another supermarket to operate here.”

His statement came before Treat’s update with the information that another grocery store is close to signing a deal.

After the meeting, I spoke with Halverson who said he was surprised by the announcement.

“If it’s a done deal, it’s a done deal,” he said. “But we’re going to keep trying, and we’ll see what happens.”

Until the announcement has been made, the grocery store guessing game will continue. Real estate website Curbed Seattle recently published the article, “Shuttering Albertsons Suddenly Mercer Island’s Hottest Spot,” and listed a handful of grocery store possibilities, including PCC, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, New Seasons Market, and Metropolitan Market.

But which one will seal the deal? Until we know, our hunger remains.