Store Manager Jessica Convery standing aside the blue prints for the new location. C. Thacher Carter / The Times Record

A second Hannaford supermarket, on track to open early this summer at Cook’s Corner, won’t replace the existing store in downtown Brunswick, according to the company.

The new store will be in addition to the Elm Street location, according to Hannaford’s External Communications Manager Ericka Dodge, since the Elm Street location is one of the busiest of all 183 Hannaford locations.

“We are not shutting down the Elm Street store,” said Store Manager Jessica Convery. “We are looking to provide that [store] relief.”

Executive Director of the Brunswick Downtown Association Debora King said she is glad that Hannaford is expanding but also believes it is very important the Hannaford keep a downtown location.

“We have so many folks who live downtown now who are now able to walk and get their groceries,” King said. “People choose to live in areas where they can walk to all the services for a reason and being able to get groceries is one of the huge huge factors in those decisions.”

In addition to the now two Hannaford locations, Brunswick also hosts a Walmart, Shaw’s and Big Lots.

Dodge said that the location was selected, in part, to help offer access to some outlier communities such as Harpswell.

The store will be partially made up of the old Staples store as well as add-ons which are in construction now. The location will be about 47,000 square feet, with a selling square footage of about 33,000, which is comparable to the Elm Street location.

Dodge declined to specify the cost of the lease at the new location.

Other communities in Maine with two Hannaford locations include Portland, South Portland, Bangor, Waterville and Augusta.

Both Convery and Dodge said that they believe the new Hannaford will contribute to the town’s larger push to revitalize the commercial area of Cooks Corner.

According to Convery, the layout of the store will be significantly different than the Elm Street location. To the right-hand side of the entrance, the new store will include a café and meeting area, which will be open to the public and, during non-COVID times, seat about 25 people.

Convery said that while most store cafés have small tables, this location will have a “long farmers table,” which she hopes will create a community space in the Cooks Corner area for gatherings and meetings.

The location will also offer a drive through pharmacy, eight self-checkouts and Hannaford To-Go.

“In thinking of the revitalization of Cooks Corner, I’m proud to be moving Hannaford to the area because we are going to provide the jobs to that area,” Convery said. “We’re going to be drawing folks to that area that might not necessarily have stopped in that area.”

Convery said that the new store will employ between 100 and 140 new associates, with 75% of them being new hires.

“We need some folks in there that care about that area,” Convery added.

In an interview last month, Brunswick’s Economic Development Director Sally Costello said some of the major problems facing Cook’s Corner include disinvestment, building vacancies, traffic mobility issues, a lack of pedestrian and bike infrastructure and overall poor aesthetics.

In March, Brunswick officials approved a Cook’s Corner advisory committee to help guide the commercial area’s revitalization plan.

Hannaford was included as a represented group in the committee, with other examples being Johnson Sporting Goods, Mid Coast Hospital, Maine Department of Transportation and the Housing Authority.

“It’s something that we feel very strongly needs to be done in order to get some coordinated effort out there,” Town Manager John Eldridge told the town council last month.

Town Councilor David Watson said he believes the Hannaford will draw people to Cooks Corner and anchor that end of the shopping area. Next, Watson said, he hopes a business will take over the former Sears building to anchor that end.

Another angle outside of Brunswick’s soon-to-be second Hannaford location at Cooks Corner. C. Thacher Carter / The Times Record

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