Acme Fresh Market is expanding into the growing suburb of Green, building its first new store in more than 20 years. And the chosen site is just down the street from its largest competitor, Giant Eagle.

The store beefs up the Akron-headquartered grocery chain’s presence in the southern Summit County and northern Stark County area. Acme has a store in North Canton and one in Coventry Township.

“People in Green know the Acme Fresh Market brand. It’s a growing community and people who live there have shopped at Acme,” said Executive Vice President Jim Trout on Wednesday. “It’s a great way for Acme to attract those customers back.”

Acme will be the anchor tenant on 16.5 acres owned and developed by Albrecht Inc., said Joe Albrecht, vice president of retail properties for Albrecht Inc. The dollar value of the project will be between $15 million to $20 million.

The store will join 15 Acme-operated stores and one franchise store, Henry’s Acme in Akron.

Trout said it is believed to be the first new construction of an Acme store since its Manchester Road location in Coventry was built in 1990.

The retail complex also will have smaller shop or restaurant space, though none of the other tenants can be named yet, Albrecht said.

The grocery store will be 68,000 square feet and the remaining shops will total 25,000 square feet, he said. The retail shops will front along Massillon Road.

“We have great opportunities for unique and exciting restaurants with outdoor seating, patio seating and a really nice, relaxing environment to help serve the office users,” said Albrecht, the second oldest son of Acme Fresh Markets’ President Steve Albrecht.

The site is across the street from the Akron Area YMCA and not far from a Giant Eagle. Giant Eagle officials declined comment about Acme’s announcement.

Trout said of Acme’s strategy: “Our whole focus has been updating and remodeling our core. Now that we are approaching the end of that, we’re ready to open some new stores.

“We certainly have opportunities for more new stores, but as a privately held company, we’re going to measure twice and cut once. We see Green as that initial opportunity. We’re just going to do Green.”

Trout said the goal “is to create a world class Acme Fresh Market that fulfills [Mayor Dick Norton’s] vision for a vibrant and exciting downtown marketplace.”

The address of the new store will be 3875 Massillon Road and the project is being called Heritage Crossings of Green. It will include Summa Health System’s satellite emergency room under construction, plus offices and a retail area.

At 68,000 square feet, the Acme will be larger than the nearby Giant Eagle and will offer all the amenities of Acme stores, Albrecht said.

Albrecht Inc., a sister company of the Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co. that operates Acme Fresh Market, hopes to break ground by January of next year and have the store open by the holiday season.

Trout said the design is not as large as some Acme locations because other stores were operated under the company’s former and older formats.

The new store will employ about 150 workers. Trout said it was too early to know whether some employees will be transferred within the company. Regardless, there will be an increase of about 150 employees companywide, he said.

Separate from companywide remodeling upgrades, the company’s most recent significant location change was in 2006 when it took over a former Tops store on South Avenue in Tallmadge, relocating from across the street, and opening in 2007.

Acme also operates two R.S.V.P. Food & Party Outlet locations that specialize in supplies for parties.

Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com