Shoppers leave Market Basket in Westbrook early Friday morning, Aug. 21, on the opening day of the grocery store at Rock Row. A developer has announced plans for a similar supermarket in Topsham. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald)

A Market Basket location may be coming to the Topsham Fair Mall. While this would be just the third Market Basket location in Maine, it would land in a region already home to a handful of supermarkets, the developer isn’t concerned about competition.

Real estate developer John Matthews said Topsham is “the next logical location to serve north of Portland.” Market Basket opened its first store in Maine in Biddeford in 2013, and a second location in Westbrook’s Rock Row opened in 2020.

“It’s a very well-established shopping area and to have Market Basket with a co-tenancy with The Home Depot and Target we think is a good thing for everyone,” Matthews said. “People can go on a weekly shopping trip and get everything they need.”

Though the proposed store would be the first Market Basket location to venture into the southern Midcoast, it would be far from the only grocery store in the area. Topsham Fair Mall is already home to a Hannaford just down the street.

Should the Topsham planning board approve the proposed 80,000 square-foot store, it will be built at the southern end of the Topsham Fair Mall, near The Home Depot and a Target, which also sells groceries.

There are also two Hannaford locations, one of which opened earlier this year, and one Shaw’s location in neighboring Brunswick, all within about five miles, or a roughly 15 minute drive, of the proposed Market Basket.

Despite the nearby competition, Matthews said he believes the community can support multiple grocers.

“Economically, it’s very stable in that area and we think that the public deserves another offering,” he said. “Competition is good for the consumer.”

Hannaford External Communications Manager Ericka Dodge declined to answer questions regarding the potential additional competition for Hannaford if a Market Basket location comes to the Topsham Fair Mall.

Matthews said the Topsham Fair Mall was identified as a good location for the store because it’s surrounded by busy roadways including I-295 that runs up and down the coast, Route 196 that travels toward Lisbon or Harpswell, and Route 201 that leads in Bowdoin or toward Brunswick.

Matthews said that busy intersection is why the Topsham Fair Mall exists and why other large businesses like Target and The Home Depot are stationed there as well. It’s an area that’s accessible to people both within Topsham as well as neighboring and nearby communities like Bath and Freeport.

Topsham Planning Director Rod Melanson said he believes a Market Basket in that location would be successful because it would draw shoppers from nearby communities as well as within Topsham.

Melanson said the town hopes to see more housing built around the Topsham Fair Mall and another grocer in that area could help fuel and serve that development.

Matthews said he plans to file a formal application for the story with the Topsham Planning Board in January. Should the board approve it, Matthews said construction could begin a year from now. He said the new store could be ready for shoppers by Thanksgiving 2023.

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