Owner seeking new tenant for Monroe Avenue Giant store

GiantThe owner of the property on East Monroe Avenue currently occupied by a Giant grocery store has begun actively marketing the property to a new user, according to an email received from a staff member at the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP), the city’s economic development agency.

Giant has announced it will open a much larger supermarket in nearby Potomac Yard, which is expected to open in the latter half of 2015. The news from the AEDP staffer is the clearest indication yet that Giant will be vacating the East Monroe Avenue store. Giant has not made any announcement about its plans.

AEDP staff has been meeting with representatives of companies that it believes will be an appropriate replacement for the Giant, including Fresh Market, an expanding grocery chain that just opened a store in the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria. Fresh Market is looking for additional locations, but it’s not clear whether another store in Alexandria could be supported. There is also a question of whether the market for grocery stores in Alexandria is becoming saturated.

In addition to Fresh Market, the AEDP staff has presented the Monroe Street Giant site to at least two other grocers, including Trader Joes and an unnamed independent organic grocer. AEDP has also considered retailers such as REI and restaurants for the site.

In an article in the March 2013 Citizen, an AEDP staffer that “in general, feedback from brokers and retailers (about the site) has been very positive.” But there are challenges ahead. “We have been told that the building appears dated and that the parking lot is inadequate for the parking ratio required by some of these users.”

The owner of the Giant site, Kin Properties, owns 800-plus freestanding retail properties throughout the United States. Its typical tenants include Aaron’s Rents, Borders Books, CVS, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Macy’s, Footlocker, Home Depot, JC Penney, Kmart, Kohls, Kroger, Office Depot, Office Max, Rent-A-Center, Rite Aid, Safeway, Sears, Sleepy’s, Sports Authority, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Winn Dixie.