One of the biggest news stories in the past few months has been the old Kmart property along Blowing Rock Road, here in Boone, NC. Much has been said back and forth about the possibility of Harris Teeter relocating to this site either in a ground lease or traditional lease. However, I wanted to inform you all here in Boone why Harris Teeter probably won’t leave Shops at Shadowline.
If you all remember Harris Teeter completed an approximate 9,000 sf expansion and remodel a few years back. Regardless of who paid for it, more than likely Harris Teeter, they have a vested interest to recoup the cost associated with that expansion. Secondly, if they did leave they would be looking at one of the largest lease buyouts ever seen in the Boone market. That combined with what it would take to relocate to the Kmart property would be quite significant. Lastly, like most of people in the Boone area, I shop at Harris Teeter. Personally, I like the quality of the food, customer service, selection and so forth. So it really doesn’t matter where Harris Teeter is located because as someone who is loyal to that brand I am going to go wherever they are. I believe that there current location is a good central location within the town, if anything I am sure that down the road Harris Teeter could support a second location.
So then you ask about the whole Publix situation. Yes, more than likely Publix is a good candidate to anchor (main tenant) the Kmart property. While I can’t confirm that this is going to happen lets just think about this for a second. Say, Harris Teeter did relocate to Blowing Rock Road or anywhere else in Boone for that matter. Who is to say that Publix wouldn’t just go right into a space that was already nicely up-fitted for a supermarket. For all of you hoping for the Trader Joes or the Target I have sad news in that our demographic data won’t support either. Whats the solution, well lets make Boone a more development friendly community where the barrier to entry isn’t so high. Lets build the economic base and have some employers enter the market who can pay decent paying wages (tech, bio tech). Lets have less reliance on the university and tourism and build a Boone that can thrive outside of these two things. The list could go on for days. As a resident and someone involved in commercial real estate I look forward to whatever does happen on the Kmart property. Remember activity begets activity.
Here is the High Country Press Article for you to read regarding the latest development in this story.