Jefferson Bi-Lo sees activity; new owners unconfirmed

The Jefferson Bi-Lo Foods grocery store closed its doors late last year.

JEFFERSON — The formerly vacant Jefferson Bi-Lo Thorne’s Market still has no new owner, but residents have seen foot and vehicle traffic at the store and the building could be sold soon.

The grocery store shut down in January, and its owners filed

for bankruptcy protection, according to

union representatives for its former

employees.

Though the property deed for the 344 S. Chestnut St. location still remains in the bankruptcy courts, Mark Sander, co-owner of Sander’s Market

of Pennsylvania, confirmed Tuesday his company has been contracted to clean up the location and prepare it for sale.

He could not

confirm Tuesday whether Sander’s Market is a potential buyer, as bankruptcy litigation with CPW Properties Ltd. of Salem —

owner of the former Thorne’s Market — continues.

The county auditor’s records still list CPW Properties as the owner. The deed had not been legally transferred as of Tuesday, employees said.

Sander’s Market operates two Pennsylvania stores, in North East and Corry, and one store in Salamanca, New York, according to its website.

Late last year, Bi-Lo employees received notification the company had not made its last two months of union insurance premium payments, causing the policies to lapse near the end of November. Neither the Star Beacon nor the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce could reach the owners at the time.

In January, a sign posted on a door confirmed the store had closed.

“We want to thank you for your business through the years,” it read.

Patty Fisher, village treasurer and chamber head, said in January the closure would account for about $10,000 in lost property tax revenue for the village.