SOUTHLAKE — Trader Joe’s said Wednesday it has signed a lease for a grocery store in Southlake Town Center that will open in 2014, its second Tarrant County store.The 13,500-square-foot, two-story store will be built at the northwest corner of Southlake Boulevard and Central Avenue. In addition to the more than 3,000 Trader Joe’s private label brand items, the store will offer beer and wine.Plans for the California-based grocery chain were first made public Aug. 26 by Frank Bliss, president of Cooper and Stebbins, Southlake Town Square’s developer, who shared concept designs and store plans at the Southlake Program for the Involvement of Neighborhoods meeting.Trader Joe’s offered little detail in its announcement Wednesday. The company opened a store on Hulen Street in Fort Worth last year.Bliss, though, told the meeting last week that construction could begin in January with the store opening by October 2014 if plans are approved by the city. That should happen next month, he said. Bliss said the retail store will be on the building’s second floor, while back-shop operations and docking will occur on the ground floor. He said plans are to have a 70-space elevated parking lot level with the store’s main entrance.Bliss said the grocery store not only fits the space, but the feel of Southlake as well. He said Trader Joe’s sees Southlake Town Square as “ground zero” for its target demographic.The building’s design takes inspiration from the Charles City Market in South Carolina and will have a farmer’s market atmosphere, Bliss said. It will feature large arches with niches that Bliss suggested could include art and murals to produce a historic Southlake vibe.“We want it to be one of those buildings that’s going to be part of Southlake history when it opens,” Bliss said. “It’s such an important entry point into the project that we wanted to get it right.”Southlake resident Vic Awtry grabbed on to the idea of featuring art on the building.“This is Southlake. You’ve got to do something special and this is something special,” Awtry said.Trader Joe’s plans now move on to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council for review and approval. Southlake Town Center is a 130-acre residential, shopping. office and entertainment development that began in 1999. It also houses Southlake’s city offices, a Hilton Hotel and a Harkins Theater.Trader Joe’s also said it would be opening a store in Katy, near Houston, next year. Trader Joe’s has stores in Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Plano, but also plans a second store in Dallas and Austin, according to its website.Trader Joe’s said it carries an array of domestic and imported foods and beverages including fresh baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrees, 100 percent juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, as well as milk and eggs.Trader Joe’s said it introduces about a dozen new items every week.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli