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MENOMONEE FALLS - The heart of downtown Menomonee Falls will get healthier in about two months.

The single-level, 29,050 square-foot Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Colonial Plaza, N89 W16899 Appleton Ave., is expected to open for Falls residents Wednesday, May 10.

The plaza is anchored by Planet Fitness and Cho's Martial Arts.

While the grocer has steep competition in the Falls with Pick n' Save, Costco and Piggly Wiggly nearby, Falls officials hope the store that specializes in fresh and organic produce will be well-received by downtown residents, especially by renters in the 114-unit Riverwalk on the Falls apartments that are being built.

Matt Carran, director of community development, said the grocer will strengthen the downtown area.

“It’s unique that it's in a downtown setting; with the density and foot traffic, that’s something sought after by developers," Carran said. "This is a destination that can help the downtown become stronger and it works with the immediate neighborhoods from a convenience standpoint.”

Making this location work for the community came with some challenges, according to Carran.

“One of our concerns, quite honestly, is there’s a health club on the other end of this (Planet Fitness), and so to try and make the parking work for those driving through, which we believe it will," Carran said. "A lot of the business, we also feel, would be people walking from the general neighborhood. I think that’s what allows this to work. There’s some improvements to Appleton Avenue to help; you’ll have two lanes going through so that the traffic can funnel through without blocking the entrance to the parking lot, so when you leave, you can make a right or left turn without having cars backed up from the stoplight, so working with the engineering department to come up with ways to make this work was key.”

On March 6, Fresh Thyme Market also announced it would open a location in Brookfield at Calhoun Crossing, 17300 W. Bluemound Road, on the same day as the Falls location.

Fresh Thyme officials said more details will be released regarding a grand-opening event closer to May.

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