A brand-new Trader Joe’s grocery store is coming to Midtown Village later this month. The cult-favorite company managed to keep the news mostly mum until building permits (which are public) and looky-loos sussed out that the ground floor of 1324 Arch Street looked an awful lot like a TJ. Through the windows, you can spot a dozen cash registers and sky-blue walls with blonde wood shelving… a Trader Joe’s trademark. This will be the second TJ in Center City; its sister store is located about a mile away on the other side of the Schuylkill.
The new grocer will be located within walking distance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center further down Arch Street. The building that houses the new TJ has parking on the upper floors, which is great news for families who need a haul of groceries every week. The Philadelphia Inquirer was the first to suspect rumors of a Trader Joe’s coming to this location, but was only able to get official confirmation from corporate last week. The grocer will only enhance the growing field of commerce that’s building east of City Hall, which was once something of a dead zone, even in the midst of Center City.
The floor plan for the new TJ shoes it clocking in at just under 16,000 square feet, which will make it just a scooch smaller than its sister store. It joins the growing ranks of grocers making their way into downtown: Sprouts, which opened in South Philly just last year; Aldi’s forthcoming 25,000 square foot behemoth of a store on Broad and Ridge behind the Divine Lorraine; and the three planned new location of Giant’s Heirloom Market that were announced earlier this year. In Chinatown, just a short walk away, there are dozens of niche ethnic markets, and of course close by is Reading Terminal Market, long one of the best places to eat, shop, and ramble in Center City.