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Stop & Shop Acquires Johnnie's Foodmaster Lease, But Plans Unknown

Is Stop & Shop planning to open a store in West Somerville, or does it have other plans for the former Johnnie's Foodmaster site?

Stop & Shop, a supermarket company, has acquired the lease at the former Johhnie's Foodmaster site in West Somerville, but Stop & Shop has not announced what it plans to do with the site.

"I don't have any news I can share yet," said Suzi Robinson, a spokesperson for Stop & Shop's New England Division. She said she's hoping to announce news about the West Somerville site sometime during the week of January 28.

Johnnie's Foodmaster was a supermarket at 105 Alewife Brook Parkway that closed in November of 2012 after Foodmaster, which had 10 stores in Eastern Massachusetts, closed all its sites.

Six of those 10 stores, including one on Beacon Street in Somerville, were transferred to Whole Foods.

Stop & Shop already took over the lease of the former Johnnie's Foodmaster on Salem Street in Medford. It quickly renovated the site and officially re-opened it on Jan. 11.

According to a "lease assignment and assumption agreement," available at the South Middlesex Registry of Deeds website, Stop & Shop officially took over the West Somerville lease on Dec. 21, 2012.

The lease agreement says Foodmaster and Stop & Shop are "parties to a certain asset purchase agreement dated as of Nov. 2, 2012," of which the Alewife Brook Parkway lease is a part.

Robinson would not say how many former Foodmaster sites are part of that overall asset purchase agreement. 

Knowing Stop & Shop took over leases in Medford and West Somerville, and knowing Whole Foods took over six of Foodmaster's 10 stores, the only remaining Foodmaster sites are in Lynn and Whitman.

Online registry of deeds searches conducted on Jan. 24 in Essex and Plymouth counties showed no records for the Lynn and Whitman addresses.

However, an article from the Lynn Daily Item said Foodmaster "accepted a buyout this summer"—the summer of 2012—"to make room for an undisclosed pharmacy." That doesn't sound like a Stop & Shop.

Somerville Patch couldn't find any news about the Whitman site, so that could, in theory, be part of the deal with Stop & Shop. But we don't know yet.

It seems unlikely Stop & Shop would acquire only two leases without plans to open stores at both locations.

An article in the Boston Herald, about the recent sale of Shaw's, noted supermarket real estate in the Northeast isn't easy to come by. It said the new owners of Shaw's might want to lease its new property to other supermarket players in the area, and it listed Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Market Basket and Whole Foods.

By that reasoning, Stop & Shop might be interested in opening a store in the West Somerville site or leasing the space to another supermarket.

Justin Hildebrandt January 25, 2013 at 11:48 AM
The old Johnnie's in Whitman is half a block away from an enormous Stop and Shop. So I doubt they were interested in the property in Whitman. If they wanted to expand, there's certainly space on their existing land.
Chris Orchard (Editor) January 25, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Good to know. Thanks, Justin. I'm hoping we'll find out more about their plans here in Somerville sometime next week.
Brian McCarthy January 25, 2013 at 05:19 PM
I wish one of these chains would acquire the vacant Start Market on Broadway.
AHM January 25, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I would assume they are going to ahve a Stop and Shop there. Maybe they want to get rid of the package store first to help wiht the size of the store. Only guessing as a business man. Although I would not want to see the package store lose their business as they have been there for a long time. If they are the same owners it has to be almost 50 years there or more. As for Broadway the pols want that to be a mixed use bulding. I Know the neighborhood wants a store there. Even an Aldi's would be better than nothing.
Sam Franklin January 26, 2013 at 03:12 AM
We need a Market Basket in West Somerville.
ALBINA SACCO March 31, 2013 at 01:11 AM
MARKET BASKET WOULD BE WONDERFUL

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