PHILADELPHIA — Sprouts Farmers Market opened its first supermarket here last month, anchoring a mixed-use development project that is bringing new apartment buildings and retail outlets to a reviving area in the city’s culturally diverse South Philly section. Target Corp. is coming to the neighborhood this fall with a new 39,000-square-foot store.
For Sprouts, the September 19 ribbon-cutting on the 32,000-square-foot store represents the latest milestone in its coast-to-coast expansion. The fast-growing Phoenix-based company now has stores in 19 states. The Philadelphia store is part of the retailer’s push into the Mid-Atlantic region. Earlier this year, Sprouts opened two stores in Maryland, one in Durham, N.C., and one in Simpsonville, S.C.
The newest Sprouts Farmers Market opened in Philadelphia after an extensive rehabilitation of a dilapidated railroad freight shed that houses the store. According to the Hidden City Philadelphia website, the building’s dazzling Fink Truss system that resembles the arched skeleton of a humpbacked whale — an engineering design typically used in bridge construction — was preserved. Brick was repointed, windows replaced with the original trim retained, and exterior elements such as wooden doors, cast iron eave brackets and corner guards were restored and repainted.
Shoppers at the new store are presented with fresh produce; barrels holding grains, nuts and sweets; a deli with prepared entrees and side dishes; a butcher shop; a fish market; and a section devoted to vitamins and dietary supplements. The Philadelphia store is one of 13 that Sprouts Farmers Market was planning to open in the third quarter, following ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 16 stores in the year’s first half. The 16-year-old company has more than 300 stores.