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Fort Thomas Matters: An "Educated Guess" on Who May Replace Remke in Newport Plaza

From Fort Thomas Matters:

In March longtime grocery retailer, Remke Markets, closed in the Newport Plaza. It was rumored that same month that a retailer already had plans to lease half of the 53,000 square foot building.

Now, Fort Thomas Matters may have zeroed in on who has signed that lease.

FTM has become the go-to source for new retailers in the area because of well-placed sources, so before we go further I must give my token "this is only an educated guess" statement.

This is an educated guess.

We have correctly identified new retailers before big announcements have occurred with Dick's Sporting Goods, Ihop, TJ Maxx, Flipdaddy's and Noodles and Company. Leasing agents and stores like to keep a tight lid on who has signed leases, but the hunger is real for this type of news. So we dig.

Our sources are telling us that Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market will be the next retailer to fill that space. Construction is on-going for that space and the space next to it, which has not been leased as of yet.

An organic, niche-type grocery store has been missing from the immediate Fort Thomas-Newport area, and is often the subject of desire in the comments section of any economic development article across the media spectrum.

Fresh Thyme is a Meijer-backed company that sprouted up in the midwest fairly recently. They opened their first two area stores over the last six months. August 27 in Oakley and November 12 in Montgomery.

According to their CEO, Chris Sherrell in an article here, the biggest difference between Fresh Thyme and a company like Whole Foods, is size and the amount of stock sold that is perishable.

"We’re not focusing on 40 percent food service. We’re looking at an everyday natural farmers market where 40 percent to 50 percent of our sales are going to be in perishable departments—produce, meat and some of the other health food service areas—but not really as high profile a food service area as Whole Foods may have," he said. "But really it's the value, it’s the price image, the affordability."

The Newport Plaza space fits perfectly into the company's strategy of moving into second-generation building space, which according to Sherrell, allowed Fresh Thyme to open more quickly than if they were building a brand new facility.

"So second-generation space is always great. Not only can you open quicker, it will also help regentrify some of these shopping centers, and that’s where we get tons of excitement from some of these landlords. There’s just not a ton of retail growth. While there’s some excitement going on in the grocery industry and there are a couple of retailers out there still doing really well from a soft goods side, we all know the office space is really being crunched, the electronics space is really being crunched, and so they’re really looking for some excitement in this 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot space," he said.

Published with permission from Fort Thomas Matters