FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - So when is Fort Wayne getting a Trader Joe's?
ABC21 has learned that the build-out of a location targeted to be the first northeast Indiana store has already started, and the company acknowledges that it is “taking the necessary steps” to operate here.
The chain grocery is planning to set up shop in Jefferson Pointe between the Panera Bread restaurant and the DeBrand Fine Chocolates store, ABC21 has learned by reviewing permit applications, planning documents and other relevant information.
ABC21 also reached out to Trader Joe's for comment, and Public Relations representative Kenya Friend-Daniel said this: "Nothing is final yet, but we are looking to bring a store to the area. We are taking the necessary steps to make it happen."
Allen County Building Commissioner John Caywood told ABC21 he met with a contractor who is involved with the project recently.
"I know that out at Jefferson Pointe, there has been an interior demolition permit pulled to combine several of the tenant spaces, and the name Trader Joe's mentioned there," Caywood told reporter Jeff Neumeyer on Thursday.
"They are preparing for a Trader Joe's."
The former space of Louie’s Tux Shop, which relocated, and Charming Charlie which closed, and one currently occupied by a Complete Health nutrition store are part of the renovation project.
The Complete Health shop will relocate to another part of Jefferson Pointe.
Management at Jefferson Pointe declined to name the occupant of the space being redeveloped, but contractor Lunz Excavating is renovating the space. A Lunz official said the company understood the tenant would be Trader Joe’s.
The size of Trader Joe’s stores varies by location, but they often take up 10,000 to 15,000 square feet – an amount of space that would be readily accommodated by the Jefferson Pointe remodel that is underway.
An official announcement has not been made by the high-end grocer nor by RED Development, which owns and manages Jefferson Pointe.
From the internet famous "Everything but the Bagel Seasoning" to Cauliflower Gnocchi, Trader Joe's offers regular grocery staples to a line of specialty items that are unique to the chain.
Joe Coulombe, the store's founder, died last weekend at the age of 89.
Trader Joe's has two other Indiana locations in Indianapolis.
The chain has more than 500 stores nationwide.