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Superfresh closing leaves Frederick Co. shopping center guessing

Monday - 4/30/2012, 2:00am  ET


Remnants of the Ballenger Creek Shopping Center’s Superfresh grocery store remain, but the traffic that the now-gutted business once brought is long gone.

Almost a year after the store closed for good, the surrounding restaurants and retailers are still feeling the heat.

“New customers used to accidentally stop by” after grocery shopping, BB’s Bagels & Bread owner Nandin Narisu said. “Now we don’t get that anymore.”

State Farm Insurance agent Tim Winter said the loss of foot traffic at the strip mall has cut into his business, much of which depends on walk-in customers.

The Ballenger Creek Center was once considered more attractive, housing a Blockbuster Video and the now-defunct supermarket.

“People would forget about their insurance until they were at the grocery store,” Winter said about folks who often needed to transfer insurance from one state to another.

In his seventh year at the Ballenger Creek location, Winter said he has definitely seen a decline since Superfresh closed last July. In the meantime, he and his fellow agents are focusing more on advertising to market the location.

Narisu is following the same path at her bagel shop, which she bought three years ago when the center was still a popular place to stop for lunch.

“I’m trying my best,” she said about her business, which she said she can’t afford to move elsewhere. Not everyone has been negatively impacted by the vacant supermarket.

Celebree Center Director Jennifer Auge said that the day care hasn’t suffered, except for the inconvenience of having to travel further for milk and other amenities for the children.

Most of the business owners along the strip echo the same sentiments as Narisu: “Hopefully something will happen soon,” she said.

— Stephanie Mlot

Golden Mile Alliance gets $500 contribution

The Golden Mile Alliance recently received a $500 boost.

The donation was made by DLC Management Corp., on behalf of the Fredericktowne Mall Associates.

In a Frederick City news release, Dave Severn, a Frederick lawyer representing DLC Management, said the contribution is meant to support the efforts of the Golden Mile Alliance, and encourage redevelopment and commercial revitalization.

“As we move forward in our work, the continued support of both residents and businesses will be an important part of our success and what we are able to accomplish,” GMA President Diana Halleman said in the release.

— Stephanie Mlot