The E’ville Eye broke the exclusive story last month that the Public Market New Seasons project was being put on pause. Today, news was handed down that New Seasons will indeed be pulling out of its Emeryville project.
A leaked email published by the SF Business Times last week stated the Emeryville store had been delayed by “increased construction and operating costs in addition to lower and slower sales in our NSM NorCal stores.” The memo cast further doubt of the eventual opening of the location.
In a press release published today, the Portland-based grocery chain made the official announcement. “New Seasons will not open locations in [Emeryville] as originally planned.”
The company announced that it will instead focus growth in California through its sister company, New Leaf Community Markets. They also announce a strategic shift in business direction which includes a flattening of the executive leadership structure and the departure of CEO Wendy Collie.
“It is never easy to leave a company you love,” Collie noted. “I truly love the amazing people who are the very heart and soul of our company. I feel very confident that the company is in good hands with the team that I have built and with Kristi and Forrest at the helm, who are both dedicated to our mission and have the leadership skills and expertise to ensure New Seasons remains a thriving company.”
Collie is credited with helping grow the grocery chain from twelve Portland area stores to twenty-five locations across three states with over 4,000 employees.
New Seasons also announced it will not open planned locations in San Francisco and Carmel and will be closing its Sunnyvale location that just opened last August. “Closing the Sunnyvale store is a tough decision for us. This location proved to be a challenge for several reasons,” said Kristi McFarland, Co-President of New Seasons Market. We are immensely proud of the staff who worked at the Sunnyvale store, and we’ll ensure they have support through this transition.”
It was not noted if the lease with the Public Market would be terminated or sold. We have reached out to The Public Market’s owners City Center Realty Partners for clarifications and of any new plans for the space. Commercial real estate capital intermediary HFF recently announces $83.532 million in construction financing for the Market’s ongoing renovation.
[Update:] CCRP provided the following statement in regards to the future of the space:
Although New Seasons Market’s announcement is very recent, we have already received inquiries regarding the premises from a number of parties. We are engaged in ongoing discussions with New Seasons regarding the future of the space, and those discussions prohibit us from disclosing our future plans further. However, rest assured that we are proactively exploring all of our options.
We look forward to continuing our work to provide the greater community with a unique and vibrant destination for the heart of Emeryville.