The Rotunda Facebook page – yes, there is a Rotunda Facebook page – has announced that the new grocery store at the Rotunda shopping center in Hampden will be MOM’s Organic Market. The 15,000 sq. ft. store, which is the model size for MOM’s, will replace the 33,000 sq. ft. store that the Giant left last year for their new digs on nearby 41st Street.

Hekemian & Company, the New Jersey based owners and redevelopers of the Rotunda, have planned an official groundbreaking ceremony at the mall today, Wednesday, September 18th, at 11am. Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is scheduled to attend. The new plan for the mall development calls for 152,000 square feet of retail space, 379 apartments, and 140,000 square feet of office space, as well as a central plaza for outdoor events and festivals. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. As reported last month in Baltimore Fishbowl, Bozzuto Construction Company will be the general contractor for the $100,000 million project.

So why MOM’s?  According to Hekemian Senior Vice-President of Development Chris Bell, speaking to the Baltimore Sun, one of the other leading candidates was Graul’s, which was perceived as “not that different than the Giant, and not as unique as MOM’s”. The other candidate, Fresh Market, “did not appear to do the volume of business that MOM’s does”. “MOM’s brings something uniquely new to the (city) market”, continued Bell. “It’s much more like a Trader Joes. Their stores typically do a very high volume. The customers come back and back and back”. Pointing to the increasing numbers of young people in the Hampden area, he suggested that as people become more conscious of what they eat, MOM’s would be well able to accommodate that need.

Why the Rotunda? According to Scott Nash, founder and CEO of MOM’s, which started in 1987 with an initial investment of $100, “In 2011, we tested the Baltimore area with our store in Timonium, Md. It has become one of our best performing stores and we are now ready to venture further into the Baltimore market. The Rotunda is a perfect match for MOM’s – it is convenient to Rt. 83 and in a neighborhood we love”.

MOM’s mission is to ‘protect and restore the environment’– and to that end, offers a large selection of 100% organic produce at everyday low prices. The Rotunda MOM’s will include The Naked Lunch, an all-organic eatery with sandwiches, soups, salads, fresh juices and steam bowls.

MOM’s is currently operating 10 stores in the Baltimore/Washington area.

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