Birmingham lands Trader Joe's, Huntsville not in expansion plans

Published: Sep. 17, 2014 at 2:15 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM CDT
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Trader Joe's has no current plans to open in Huntsville. (Source: Trader Joe's)
Trader Joe's has no current plans to open in Huntsville. (Source: Trader Joe's)

Trader Joe's, the popular specialty grocery store, is set to open its first location in Alabama.

On Wednesday, Trader Joe's announced plans to expand to Birmingham in a new location inside The Summit Shopping Center. The store will be approximately 12,600 square feet. The new location is scheduled to open in the second half of 2015.

Huntsville residents have put the specialty grocer at the top of their list for businesses they want to see in the Rocket City. WAFF 48 News reached out to Trader Joe's to see if the grocer has any interest in moving to the Tennessee Valley.

“[Birmingham] is our only announcement at this time,” said Alison Mochizuki, Trader Joe's media contact. “Huntsville presently is not in our two year plan.”

The Huntsville metro area does have other specialty grocers coming into the market. In February, Whole Foods Market announced it will open a new location at the northeast corner of Bob Wallace Avenue and Memorial Parkway. The store will be approximately 42,000 square feet. It is scheduled to open in 2016 and is currently under construction.

“We've been looking at the Huntsville market for awhile,” said Mike Howard, Whole Foods Market South regional vice president, back in February. “Huntsville is a great city with a lot of interest in natural and organic food, so we are excited to be bringing more healthy food options to the area.”

GBT Realty is also bringing in a specialty grocer to phase II of its Strong Station project. The development is located at Highway 72 and Nance Road and construction started during the spring. In April, a GBT Realty spokesperson said they were not ready to announce who the retailer would be.

“We are proud of the Academy Sports and Outdoors store that we completed last year and are excited to be adding several nationally named tenants to the project,” GBT Realty's Jeff Pape said back in April. “Site work has now begun and building construction is expected to start later this summer with a project opening scheduled for early 2015.”

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