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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — A Trader Joe's storefront, left, with Little Rock's Toys "R" Us location, 11500 Financial Centre Parkway.

Trader Joe’s, the California-based grocery store chain that has built its popularity on store-wide private-label products, has won city approval to retrofit part of a former Toys R Us location in west Little Rock to house its first Arkansas store.

The work, valued at more than $1 million, includes new systems for heating and cooling the store, refrigeration, plumbing and electrical work as well as the installation of grocery-store fixtures, according to the permit, which was approved last week.

The permit application was filed by Jeda Design in July. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based design firm’s clients include Trader Joe’s.

Hank Kelley, chief executive officer, partner, and executive broker of Flake & Kelley, the commercial real estate firm marketing the former Toys R Space at 11500 Financial Centre Parkway, said he wasn’t authorized to speak about the prospective tenant.

The firm’s marketing documents lists about half of the available space in the Toys R Us store front as still being available, the balance of the roughly 30,000 square feet reserved for a “national retailer.”

A spokesman for Trader Joe’s didn’t immediately return a phone call for comment.

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Archived Comments

  • whydoyouask
    August 12, 2019 at 1:06 p.m.

    Trader Joe’s B US!

  • ARMNAR
    August 12, 2019 at 1:26 p.m.

    Fine...but what we REALLY need is a Costco.

    Costco blows Sam’s Club out of the water in every respect; I’m sure the Waltons are doing everything they can to prevent folks from finding that out for themselves.

  • Jfish
    August 12, 2019 at 4:11 p.m.

    Good to see them moving into an existing building rather than pouring more concrete and asphalt.

  • whydoyouask
    August 12, 2019 at 5:51 p.m.

    Armnar, I completely agree. Costco is to Sam’s wha target is to Walmart. Upscale and plenty of room in the aisles. Their buyers fine one of a kind items.

  • LR1955
    August 12, 2019 at 10:22 p.m.

    Think I’ll continue on past to Whole Foods around the corner.

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