Business

Lucky's Market Iowa City to close in March

Customers shop in the produce area after the grand opening of Lucky’s Market in Iowa City not long after it opened in 2015. (The Gazette)
Customers shop in the produce area after the grand opening of Lucky’s Market in Iowa City not long after it opened in 2015. (The Gazette)
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Lucky’s Market in Iowa City has announced on its Facebook page it will close on March 4.

The store has been at the Iowa City Marketplace, the former Sycamore Mall, for more than three years — the chain’s first store in Iowa.

“We want to thank you for shopping the store,” the post says. “Over the past three and a half years, we’ve made some amazing friendships and together have supported some incredible community organizations.”

According to a company news release, shoppers can use rewards points or gift cards before the closing or at other Lucky’s Market stores nationwide.

The chain operates 35 stores.

Prices on products in the Iowa City store will be significantly discounted before the store closing — starting at 25 percent off all items beginning Wednesday. Beer, wine and spirits will be sold at a 20 percent discount, also starting on Wednesday, according to the release.

From Feb. 18 until the scheduled closing date, store hours will be shortened to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Boulder, Colo.-based “Lucky’s Market is committed to taking care of its employees and helping them with new job placement and transition plans,” the release stated.

The company will provide outplacement services, and employee-assistance program representatives will be on-site to offer various resources.

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The 37,000-square-foot Lucky’s opened as an anchor tenant in 2015 to the then-rebranded Iowa City Marketplace. Efforts to revitalize the shopping center came after the mall lost Von Maur to Coralville’s Iowa River Landing.

In its 2015 opening announcement, the chain reported it would hire 150 workers.

Marketplace owners did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

The supermarket’s closing comes just a year after the Iowa City Council extended a TIF, or tax increment financing agreement, for Iowa City Marketplace.

The city and marketplace developers, CORE Sycamore Town Center LLC, came to an original TIF agreement in 2014. The developer’s agreement in return for $1.75 million in TIF rebates, the developer would meet a number of requirements over the next few years, including minimum occupancy levels and total improvment dollars.

Last March, developers asked for an extension on some of the requirements from Nov. 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018. Lengthy negotiations with anchor tenant Jo-Ann Stores were holding the developers up on meeting minimum occupancy and some remodeling requirements on time.

City Manager Geoff Fruin told The Gazette on Monday that if the shopping center doesn’t continue to meet its requirements, such as the minimum occupancy level, it would lose a payment from the city. Payments are scheduled to last through 2024.

“If the Lucky’s space is not backfilled fairly quickly, they will miss the next payment. Again, if they were to bring someone else in, they could get above that level and qualify for future payments,” Fruin added.

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