The financial woes of Mrs. Green’s Natural Markets have left a nearly-completed 18,000-square-foot space in the up-and-coming Rivertowns Square development in Dobbs Ferry without a tenant.
Along with closing all but five of its stores, Mrs. Greens announced earlier this month that it would scrap plans to open a new store within the budding development off of the Saw Mill River Parkway.
Corey Rabin, co-developer of Rivertowns Square, said that Mrs. Green’s worsening financial situation prompted Saber Dobbs Ferry LLC, the joint venture between Rabin’s Dobbs Ferry Capital Partners LLC and developer Martin Berger’s Armonk-based Saber Real Estate Advisors, to terminate its lease with Mrs. Green’s.
Despite the collapse of the deal, Rabin said he is optimistic about the site’s prospects.
“We’re pretty confident that it will be a grocer,” he said. “There are other uses that it could be made for, but I think it wants to be groceries.”
Rabin said that when marketing the property four years ago, several grocery stores were interested in signing a lease for the space. Rabin said his company will reach out to those same grocers, along with bringing in “some new faces.”
“It should be much, much easier than it was in 2012, because now we have a facility you can touch and feel,” he said.
Rabin expects to sign a new grocery lessee within the coming months, adding that all other remaining tenants, including a luxury movie theater, are expected open their doors during the first quarter of next year.
“It wouldn’t be a shock to me to have a deal done by the end of the year,” he said.
Rabin said the space is tenant-ready, adding that “if Mrs. Green’s was the company that we thought they were, they would have already pulled permits to do interior fit-outs.”
After supply shortages were widely reported at several Mrs. Green’s locations, the subsidiary of Irvington-based Natural Markets Food Group announced earlier this month that CEO Pat Brown would step down. The company also said it would close its locations in Rye, Tarrytown, Manhattan’s West Village and in Fairfield and Stamford, Conn. Company officials said Mrs. Green’s plans to focus its business on its stores in Yorktown Heights, Briarcliff, Mount Kisco, Eastchester and Larchmont.
Natural Markets Food Group is owned by Toronto-based equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc. Catalyst operates the Planet Organic and Richtree Natural Market Canadian grocery chains under the Natural Markets Food Group name as well.
The company is still working toward restocking shelves at the locations that will remain open, and the process will happen in different installments, a company spokesperson told the Business Journal earlier this month.