Businesses hope Sun Foods boosts Brooklyn Center shopping center that Walmart left behind

New life for Brooklyn Center Walmart

New life for Brooklyn Center Walmart

Brooklyn Center business owners are hopeful for the future as Sun Foods grocery store plans to move into the former Walmart space.

Business owners depended on the foot traffic from the former Walmart off Shingle Creek Crossing, but it closed in April 2023.

“It was kind of a little bit miserable,” Ahmad Asmir, Boost Mobile owner, said.

When Walmart closed its doors, surrounding businesses faced the fallout.

“The whole neighborhood just disappeared. It wasn’t the foot traffic we were used to seeing,” Asmir said.

Boost Mobile lost customers that came from Walmart shoppers. The owner said sales dropped nearly 60%.

“It’s been a shaky year, to be honest,” he said.

But stability may be just around the corner.

The city of Brooklyn Center announced the Sun Foods grocery store is moving into the former Walmart space.

“We felt good actually. I’m happy to hear that,” Asmir said. “We’re looking forward to that traffic is coming back. The neighborhood is growing.”

The 180,000-square-foot store will offer multicultural options for the community — and hope.

“We’re just looking forward to some good traffic in the shopping center and kind of revive Shingle Creek and just bring this back to where it used to be,” said Chris Gatlin, property manager for Gatlin Development Company.

Gatlin is a property manager in Shingle Creek Crossing. He’s seen the ups and downs of the shopping center over time.

Now, he’s focused on bringing light to dark storefronts with restaurants and retail.

“I think after we get the groceries and retail and everything else, it will go back up to where it used to be,” he said. “I think we’re going to have a new shopping center again.”

RELATED: Brooklyn Center police responded to over 6,000 calls at Shingle Creek Walmart in last 5 years

City officials are looking forward to the business growth.

“There’s been a lot of excitement in the area,” said Jesse Anderson, Brooklyn Center community development director.

Chicago’s Harold’s Chicken is in the process of opening, a Mexican restaurant is taking the Applebee’s space, and a beauty supply store will open where Discount Tire used to be.

“I think that it’ll have a regional draw to it, and it’ll kind of put Brooklyn Center as a multicultural destination,” Anderson said.

City officials said the plan is for Sun Foods to open in February.

Kids Foot Locker, also located in Shingle Creek Crossing, closed its doors in recent months following the decrease in foot traffic.