HALFMOON — While the town Planning Board has approved plans for a new small specialty grocery store in the Halfmoon Crossing development, the name of the store remains a secret.
Published speculation has focused on the possibility of a second Capital Region location for Trader Joe’s, a national specialty grocer with an intensely loyal following. The region’s first Trader Joe’s opened on Wolf Road, not far from Colonie Center, in 2012.
Elsewhere in the Capital Region, there are other high-end specialty grocers: Whole Foods has a location at Colonie Center, and Fresh Market has locations in both Latham and Saratoga Springs. Healthy Living has a location at the Wilton Mall in Saratoga County.
In the immediate area of The Crossings — close to Northway Exit 9 and the Route 9-Route 146 intersection — the major grocery chains already have stores, including Hannaford and Market 32. Wal-Mart and Target are also within a short distance, and have large grocery areas, in addtion to other merchandise.
Among the smaller grocers already in the area is Aldi’s, an outpost of the German-owned discount chain, which is located right across Route 9 from the proposed specialty store’s site.
The plan approved by the town Planning Board during its July 27 meeting calls for a 12,500-square-foot store, far smaller than full-scale supermarkets, which can cover 60,000 square feet. The Wolf Road Trader Joe’s occupies 13,000 square feet. Both Fresh Market and Whole Foods generally build somewhat larger stores.
The grocery would be located on Halfmoon Crossing Boulevard, immediately west of the Red Robin restaurant and roughly opposite Home Depot. The 4.63-acre site is the last undeveloped piece of land in the Halfmoon Crossing development.
Developer representatives told the Planning Board members that they had signed a confidentiality agreement that prevented them from disclosing the grocer — a common practice in commercial real estate development, intended to keep a company from being associated with a project in case it runs into intense opposition or fails to win approval.
Trader Joe’s did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The California-based chain has more than 500 stores located in 42 states and Washington, D.C.
After the Albany location, the next-closest stores are in Syracuse; Burlington, Vermont; and Hadley, Massachusetts.
Reach staff writer Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086,