NORMAN — Three new grocers are on track to open their doors in Norman this year, adding a burst of activity to the grocery market.
Crest breaks ground on its new store next week in the University Town Center shopping center. Sprouts Farmers Market opens at 555 W Main, in a former Hobby Lobby, March 27. And Walmart has started dirt work on a Neighborhood Market and fuel center planned for Rock Creek Road and 36th Avenue NW.
John Woods, president of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, said each project is unique and fulfills a niche in the market.
“These are three very unique, three very positive projects all serving different areas,” Woods said. “It bodes well for the community.”
He also hinted at an additional grocer likely to announce a Norman store in the next six months but wouldn't disclose the retailer's name.
At 105,000 square feet, the Crest Fresh Market is the largest of the three projects. The store is expected to open in October and will have specialty meat and seafood products, a sushi bar, salad bar and olive bar, similar to the Oklahoma City store at SW 104 and May Avenue, said Crest Foods President Bruce Harroz. It will be the eighth store for Crest, which is also eyeing east Edmond and Yukon for expansion.
The Norman Crest is on the southeast side of University Town Center, in an area laid out for future development, said John Cohlmia, a broker for Grubb & Ellis-Levy Beffort, who represented Crest in the $2.1 million land purchase.
Its proximity to two other grocery stores — SuperTarget and Homeland — doesn't concern Harroz, son of Crest founder Nick Harroz.
“Norman is just growing so fast, it's unbelievable ... it's just booming. It's ripe for another grocery store,” he said.