Published On: Thu, Jun 9th, 2016

New Hope Cornerstone Club Leases Former Super Fresh Location on West Bridge Street

super freshThe New Hope Cornerstone Club at 415 S. York Road on Thursday leased the former Super Fresh grocery location at 322 W. Bridge St., ending months of speculation over the fate of the empty supermarket space.

Real estate broker Larry Peseski of Coldwell Banker Hearthside, who represented Cornerstone in the deal, confirmed that the fitness center would be “taking on more space.”

And while many local residents had hoped for another food retailer, the spot was too big for a Trader Joe’s, and too small for today’s typically gargantuan supermarket, according to local realtors and industry statistics. The store’s circa-1995 facade was not a big selling point, either.

But Thursday’s move by Cornerstone will certainly present economic benefits to New Hope, if not a much-needed food shopping alternative.

“Cornerstone is going to spend a very large amount of money on major renovations,” explained Peseski. “And we will dress up the facade.”

Cornerstone Club New Hope.

Cornerstone Club New Hope.

That should be music to the ears of the other shopping center tenants, for whom an unoccupied anchor store hasn’t been a death blow, but hasn’t exactly boosted their fortunes, either. And although at least store manager interviewed was concerned about the potential impact on parking availability presented by those going for a workout at the gym as opposed to food shopping, Peseski said that Cornerstone had already looked at ways to optimize parking space.

Cornerstone will also bring upwards of 100 employees to New Hope, according to Peseski. The New Hope Cornerstone Club is actually located just over the line in Solebury Township, and while its fate is not being disclosed at this early stage, new business and employee tax revenue from the former Super Fresh location will wind up fattening the depleted coffers of New Hope Borough.

“We hope to open just after Christmas,” added Peseski, who has pulled off a string of commercial real estate coups in recent years.

Even before the lease for the Super Fresh grocery store at 322 W. Bridge St. in the New Hope Shopping Center expired on Dec. 31 of last year, speculation about who would take over the challenged retail space had been rife for months.

But talk of interest in the site by the likes of Trader Joe’s or McCaffrey’s proved wishful thinking. Weis Markets and German food giant Aldi were being bandied about as potential tenants in April, but a phone call to Aldi punched a hole in that balloon, and the folks contacted at Weis were not exactly gushing about the prospect when contacted that month.

Originally opened as Delray’s Thriftway in 1979, the supermarket was sold to Clemens in 1999, and became a Super Fresh in 2006.

Abandoned New Hope Super Fresh interior.

Former New Hope Super Fresh interior.

Aside from the dingy facade, the store’s size has been problematic for many would-be suitors. At around 20,000 square feet, the space is too big for a Trader Joe’s, which typically average 10-12,000 square feet. Unfortunately, it’s also too cramped for many of today’s supermarkets, which often weigh in at around 50-60,000 square feet, according to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

The Cornerstone Clubs health and fitness group opened their first location in Doylestown in 1995, and the New Hope club followed in 2006. The TreeHouse, a lifestyle center with a focus on yoga, Pilates and meditative arts, opened in October 2008, and in 2010, Cornerstone Fitness & Spa was born at the Doylestown Hospital Fitness and Spa Facilities in Warrington.

 

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  1. jwseward@mail.com' GODettes says:

    Thank you Pink Flamingo for posting such a simple sentence that even you were not able to screw up; you must have taken some grammar lessons recently. I am curious as to what such a smart and business minded person such as yourself would prefer to have located in the space. I am sure the demographics and market research you have performed have led you to a position on advising all of us as to the proper direction such a large amount of commercial square footage should be used for.

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