Traverse City Record-Eagle

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September 11, 2010

Cherryland Tom's to close

'It is no longer economically feasible' to stay

TRAVERSE CITY — The struggling Cherryland Center mall in Garfield Township will take another hit with the closing of its anchor grocery store.

Officials with Tom's Food Markets Inc. confirmed Friday that the Tom's market at 1144 S. Airport Road will be closed, another blow to the mall property that's been foreclosed on and is the subject of a lawsuit with a major bank.

"We recently made a corporate business decision to close our Cherryland market," Tom's Food Markets President Christine Kuhnke said in a statement. "It is no longer economically feasible to continue operations at this location." The store opened in November 1986, according to the company's website.

Store employees were told the store would close in October, but no specific date was confirmed by company officials. The company said it will sell the store's remaining inventory at 20 percent off regular retail prices over the next couple of months. A 5 percent senior discount at the store will be transferred to Tom's market at 14th and Division streets in Traverse City.

Cherryland Center, the Traverse City area's original mall that dates to the mid-1970s, was foreclosed on this year by Wells Fargo Bank NA. The mall is owned by Livonia-based Schostak Brothers & Co. The bank foreclosed on a $9.2 million mortgage that dated to 1992 and last month submitted a $6 million bid to gain ownership of the property. The bank filed a lawsuit seeking rent payments from mall tenants and asks for a receiver to be appointed to manage the property and collect rent.

The Tom's market in the Cherryland mall is one of seven stores operated by the locally owned grocery-store chain that dates to the 1940s. It also operates Traverse City stores on Munson Avenue, the West Bay store at the intersection of M-22 and M-72, and at 14th and Division streets. It also has stores in Acme, Northport and its newest location in Interlochen.

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