Austin Station will lose its anchor tenant — Thrifty Foods — by the end of April.
The closure will put 140 people out of work and leave the Riverview Heights area without a nearby grocery store. (The closest are a Safeway further west on Austin Avenue, No Frills at Como Lake Village and Real Canadian Superstore near Ikea.)
A Sobey's Inc. spokesperson confirmed staff were informed of the closure on Monday and the store, which opened in 2006, will close as of April 25.
"Unfortunately, we weren't able to come to an acceptable lease term with the landlords so our lease wasn't renewed," said Keri Scobie, communications manager for Sobey's Inc. Western Canada. "It's disappointing. Clearly this wasn't the outcome we wanted and we're disappointed for our customers and for our employees, but this is where we're at. It's a difficult outcome."
The Coquitlam Thrifty's location employs 35 full-time and 105 part-time staff.
Scobie said the company is working through potential opportunities for interested employees in other store locations.
Austin Station is owned by Aragon Properties Inc. but, when contacted, the company stated it was not aware of any official closure notice by Thrifty's.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said he hadn't spoken to Aragon about the matter but had confirmed at Thrifty's that the store hadn't been able to successfully negotiate its lease renewal.
"That's a tremendous disappointment for us," Stewart said. "We like Thrifty's as a retailer. That store and its management are incredibly supportive of the community."
Stewart said he hopes Thrifty's can find another site in Coquitlam to relocate.
There is one other Thrifty Foods in the Tri-Cities, at Suter Brook Village in Port Moody.