August 25, 2012

Mass.-based Market Basket moves to Maine

By Jessica Hall
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD -- The Market Basket grocery chain will be entering the Maine market as part of an $11 million redevelopment of the former Lowe's site at the Shops at Biddeford Crossing.

DSM Inc., the owner of the Market Basket grocery chain, has received regulatory approval for the project.

The company owns more than 60 Market Basket grocery stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Its closest location to Maine is Portsmouth.

Market Basket in Biddeford will face competition from Hannaford and Shaw's supermarkets as well as Walmart and Target. Market Basket is the latest chain grocery store to enter Maine, following the arrival of Trader Joe's in 2010.

DSM, based in Tewksbury, Mass., did not return calls seeking comment.

The company plans to tear down the former garden center portion of the Lowe's building, then renovate and expand what's left to include the 107,000-square-foot grocery store, as well as additional retail space and parking, according to a land use permit already approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The total cost of the project is $11 million, financed through RMD Inc., the retail development arm of DSM. In the past three years, RMD has completed projects totaling $100 million without funding from a lending institution, according to the DEP application.

The DEP approved the project after a 35-day review.

"The department is proud its timely but thorough review will allow for the redevelopment of that recently vacated site and the creation of dozens of new jobs in southern Maine," said Samantha DePoy-Warren, DEP spokeswoman. Lowe's shut its Biddeford and Ellsworth stores last year as part of an effort to close 20 underperforming stores in 15 markets. A total of 101 workers lost their jobs at the Biddeford store.

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