Trader Joe's, Friendly Toast sign leases for Bedford developmentBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
March 31. 2017 2:16PM
BEDFORD — Trader Joe’s announced this week it will open a new store in the future Market and Main development on the old Macy’s property on River Road.
The Friendly Toast of Portsmouth also has signed a lease
“We are just excited to be coming to the neighborhood,” Alison Mochizuki, spokesman for Trader Joe’s, said Friday. “We are scheduled to open the second half of 2018.”
The popular grocery store will be the third Trader Joe’s in New Hampshire. Other locations are in Nashua and Newington.
“There are a lot of foodies in Bedford. It is a great community,” said Mochizuki.
According to the announcement, Trader Joe’s has signed a lease for about 13,000-square feet, which is about average for the company, she said.
In September, town planners granted conditional approval for the large mixed-use development at 125 South River Road.
Encore Retail LLC has been tight-lipped about potential tenants in the 355,708-square-foot complex. It is expected to include a cinema, hotel, medical office, restaurants, retail space and parking garage.
Mochizuki said Trader Joe’s currently operates 461 stores in 41 states.
“It is exciting,” Mochizuki said of the new Bedford plan. “At this time, beyond that, we don’t have anything else to say.”
The grocery chain offers about 4,000 items under the Trader Joe’s label, according to a news release. Trader Joe’s purchases directly from manufacturers when possible, rather than distributors, and introduces about a dozen new items every month, the release said.
The new store will be in proximity to Whole Foods Market, Fresh Market and Hannaford.
Bob Rohrer, managing director at Colliers International, one of the firms helping to handle the leasing for Market and Main, said Friday that only Trader Joe’s and The Friendly Toast have signed leases for the project.
The Friendly Toast is a casual restaurant group with locations in Portsmouth, Cambridge, Mass., and Boston’s Back Bay.
Rohrer said five or six more tenants are close to signing leases.
“Things are going along very well. We are at a very strong point,” he said. “We are very reluctant to release any more information until we have everything buttoned up.”
The first few tenants are typically the most difficult, as companies and restaurants like to see commitments from others, Rohrer said.
“We are progressing and moving forward,” he said.
Developers have said the Market and Main project is expected to generate more than $1 million a year in tax revenue.