By: Melody Simmons
The 15th store in the budding Rockville-based MOMs Organic Market grocery chain is set to open Friday in north Baltimore with a vibe that could be straight out of Woodstock.
The 17,000-square-foot store will be the anchor tenant in the redeveloped Rotunda shopping center in Hampden and will sell 100 percent organic foods, fresh small batch roasted coffee and even organic mattresses. The store marks MOMs first in Baltimore City.
A bulk of the MOMs is new construction, but the back stock room is located in the space that used to hold a Giant grocery store.
"I think it will be steady and our honeymoon will continue on," said Julie Hafer, general manager of the store on Tuesday while workers stocked shelves and trained on computers in the check-out aisles.
The modern, spacious store will have a multi-product recycling station that includes drop offs for used eyeglasses, wine corks and shoes, a large bulk food section and electric car charging stations out front.
The grand opening that will be from April 1-3 will feature concert by classical guitarist Alex Barnett as well as opportunities for area tree plantings and information from Baltimore Green May and the Oyster Recovery Partnership. MOMs is donating 5 percent of its profits from opening weekend sales to Living Classrooms.
The opening of MOMs takes place in the same month that tenants have started to move into The Icon apartments in the development. In addition, the 150,000 square feet of retail space is about 80 percent leased.
Chris Bell, senior vice president for Hekemian & Co. Properties, which owns and operates the Rotunda, said on Tuesday that the 379 units located in various configurations of an 8-story building have started leasing and include studio, lofts and 1-and 2-bedroom units.
"It's a bit rolling," Bell said of the construction of the apartment buildings by The Bozzuto Group, which are still under construction and will be completed by this summer with the higher-level units that will have vistas of Baltimore.
The $70 million mixed-use redevelopment of the Rotunda began in September 2013.
Other stores preparing to open soon include Pet Value, Starbucks and Floyd's 99 Barber Shop. A seven-screen luxury movie theater and restaurant, CineBistro, is also under construction, Bell said.
MOMs Organic Market also has Baltimore-area locations in Timonium and Jessup.
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