Our assumption from the comment strings on our recent Tom Thumb at Town Center post and Tom Thumb observations post is that Lake Highlands neighbors are actively communicating with Sprouts, Safeway (Tom Thumb’s parent company) and Prescott Realty to give their 2 cents about the Town Center and other neighborhood shopping centers.

Reader Joe Terrell is among those who contacted Sprouts to let the grocer know he wanted it to move into the Lake Highlands Town Center, and Terrell shared with us Sprouts’s response to him, which came from Raechell Brown in customer relations:

“Thank you for your nice note!  We are looking at several locations throughout California, Dallas & Austin Texas, Arizona and Colorado. Although I’m not aware of a lease signed in Lake Highlands … you never know when we may ‘sprout’ in your neighborhood! I will certainly pass this information on to our Real Estate Department — as this is valuable feedback!”

We know that Sprouts has expressed past interest in the Town Center, and we also learned at the recent Bisnow Retail Summit that Sprouts isn’t yet finished with its projects in North Texas (as Brown indicated above). United Commercial Realty COO Jean Smith says his company handled roll-outs for 11 new Sprouts Farmer Market stores in the last two years, and the grocer has “back-filled a lot of old grocery spaces.” New Sprouts stores are opening in Carrollton and Fort Worth in 2011, and Smith says “they’ll do a couple more, and that may be it for Sprouts for a while.”

Meanwhile, Smith says, “Tom Thumb is just starting to do new store development after a seven-year hiatus,” and other grocers are working on new formats for urban locations. We’ll be posting more on Back Talk about this and other retail news affecting Lake Highlands; stay tuned.