Business Digest

August 22, 2007

Trader Joe's opening outlet in November

Trader Joe's, the grocery chain selling specialty food and wine is to open in November at Gateway Overlook in Columbia, according to Robert Byrne, vice president, development, at General Growth Properties, which is developing the site.

"We consider ourselves a neighborhood grocery store, and approximately 80 percent of the products we sell are under the Trader Joe's name, so they're branded products; you will not find them anywhere else but at Trader Joes," said Alison Mochizuki, director national publicity for Trader Joe's.

Included in this category are ready-to-cook items such as frozen Mojito salmon with sauce, which goes directly from the freezer to the oven. Also branded are olive oils, cheeses, and dried fruits and nuts, such as chili lime peanuts, Mochizuki said. Trader Joe's sells meats and fish in its refrigerated section; marinades can be purchased or made at home.

The company's product line includes vegetarian, kosher and organic products. "Whenever possible we do buy direct from the manufacturer in large volume," Mochizuki said.

Open at Gateway Overlook are a Lowe's home improvement store, Loehmann's discount designer clothing store; a Five Below, offering products for teens; Best Buy electronics; ULTA Beauty cosmetics; and Office Depot.

The Lowe's store, the most recent addition to Gateway Overlook, opened Aug. 14 with about 117,000 square feet of retail sales space and an adjacent garden center. The store is to stock about 40,000 items; it represents an average investment for the company of $18.5 million and the creation of about 175 jobs, according to a Lowe's announcement.

Soon to open, Byrne said, will be a Chevy Chase Bank, followed by Houlihan's restaurant, Mimi's Cafe and On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina.

Tenants scheduled to open next month include Family Christian Stores and Massage Envy. October's openings are to include Stride Rite children's shoes and Costco, which will be housed in its own building.

Opening in November, in addition to Trader Joe's, are Mama Lucia restaurant; Golf Galaxy; Road Runner Sports running equipment; Perfect Pour, a wine and liquor store, Byrne said. Wachovia Bank is to open next year.

Some of the shopping center's buildings are constructed by General Growth; some companies lease the ground and build their own, Byrne said, explaining that General Growth prefers not to sell the ground.

"We generally like to own and maintain our properties for long term, rather than sell," he said.

The restaurants, banks, Costco and Lowe's are housed in separate buildings. About 25,000 square feet at Gateway Overlook still is available to lease.

Meals on Wheels award to W. R. Grace

W. R. Grace & Co., a specialty chemicals and industrial ma- terials company with headquarters in Columbia, received an award from the Howard County Meals on Wheels program at an annual volunteer appreciation luncheon held Aug. 3 at the Bain Center in Columbia.

Grace employees have delivered meals to homebound Howard County clients of Meals on Wheels since 2005. The company's CommunityWorks program encourages volunteerism by providing paid time off for employees who volunteer with approved agencies.

The company has annual sales of more than $2.5 billion and employees in 40 countries, according to its Web site (www. grace.com).

Business Digest items may be sent to howard.events @baltsun.com or faxed to 410-715-2816.

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