The kosher landscape is changing and Oakwood Commons is expanding.
Seasons, a kosher supermarket chain based in New York, will open its first Ohio outlet in Oakwood Commons, First Interstate Properties’ retail development in South Euclid, Seasons owner Mayer Gold confirmed April 19.
The $1.85 million deal for a lot of approximately 2½ acres closed on April 12, according to the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office.
In a telephone call from Seasons headquarters in Manhattan, Gold said he plans to build a supermarket of about 20,000 square feet. It should be open within a year, he said.
Mitchell Schneider, First Interstate president and board chairman, said that the Seasons will be built on the southeastern corner of Oakwood Commons.
Deborah Maggard represented Seasons in the transaction, which was a year in the making. Maggard, executive vice president of Beachwood-based commercial real estate services company NAI Daus, said that Seasons plans to put up a building of 18,000 to 20,000 square feet. It will be a full-service kosher grocery.
By the time it opens, it will likely be the eighth Seasons, Gold said. The chain has stores in various New York suburbs and in Baltimore. The typical size is 20,000 square feet. Its biggest, planned for a former Acme department store in Clifton, N.J., is 55,000 square feet.
As for the South Euclid Seasons, “it’s a huge deal for the Jewish community in that it is an additional grocery, meaning in addition to Unger’s, in catering, prepared foods and fresh flowers, completely kosher and built with the general community in mind,” said Jeffrey Kahn, NAI Daus president. “And they’re very proximate to the Orthodox Jews between Green Road and Taylor Road.”
At present, the dominant player is Unger’s Kosher Market in Cleveland Heights.
Maggard said that when a Seasons executive visited the area at the onset of the search, she had to run “all over the place trying to find kosher food for him, and I didn’t realize how small the selections were.” She has worked with the Jewish community her whole business life, she said, adding “this was a new experience for me.”
The Seasons move also may affect plans Brooklyn, N.Y.-based developer Israel Y. Blackman has to build a glatt kosher supermarket in Lyndhurst at Richmond and Mayfield roads.
Chuck Essreg, the Kowit & Co. representative who handled the $700,000 sale of the 1.6-acre lot to Blackman in fall 2015, said April 19 that Blackman’s project “is on hold pending what’s going to happen down at Warrensville and Mayfield (roads). … Obviously, the community can’t support two kosher grocery stores.”
According to a Feb. 17 article in The Bergen Record in New Jersey, Seasons has four supermarkets and a Seasons Express in the New York area and plans to open ones in Lakewood, N.J., and Clifton, N.J., this year. It also is opening Seasons of Maryland in the Baltimore suburb of Pikeville, its first foray outside New York.
Gold told the Record that Seasons looks for underserved communities where it can develop neighborhood supermarkets that appeal to a broader population than families who keep kosher.