Gaggle of grocery options headed to Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek

Stores being built, another remodeled, a third expanding

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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photoFacade improvements have spruced up the exterior of the former Hazel Dell Albertsons space, which will be home to a new Grocery Outlet Bargain Market store, set to open in January.

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Hazel Dell and Salmon Creek shoppers are about to enjoy a bounty of new grocery choices, no matter whether they prefer a bargain outlet, suburban big-box or green-tinted specialty store.

All three options are under construction within a three-mile radius. The choices are a new Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in a former Hazel Dell Albertsons’ space, an expansion of the WinCo Foods store just off the Interstate 5 exit to Northeast 99th Street and a brand-new Chuck’s Produce and Street Market at the intersection of Northeast Highway 99 and 117th Street.

The stores are gearing up to compete for food buyers on the northwest side of town, said Bill Coyle, vice president of real estate for Berkeley, Calif.-based Grocery Outlet.

“We realize we have fierce competition,” he said. “But we also think there are quite a few homes that need a place to go for their everyday needs.”

He expects a late January opening for the 22,000-square-foot Grocery Outlet in the Northgate Village Shopping Center’s old Albertsons space, which now is undergoing an exterior and interior remodel. Coyle estimated the total project cost at between $2.5 million and $3 million, invested by his company and the co-owners of the complex. Northgate Village is co-owned by Vancouver-based HSP Properties and Tualatin, Ore.-based Gramor Development Inc., a regional shopping center developer.

Grocery Outlet operates a 185-store chain franchise that offers no-frills, budget-priced grocery items, said Amy Snook, franchise owner and operator of the new Hazel Dell store. Merchandise, which includes produce, meats and dairy items, is bought as surplus inventory straight from the manufacturers, who sell at a reduced price.

Those supplies are usually limited, Snook said.

“You may not find everything on your list, but if you shop with us first, you’re going to save money,” she said.

WinCo Foods

The new Grocery Outlet will compete head-to-head with a newly expanded WinCo Foods, about one-quarter mile to the west at 99th Street and Highway 99.

The expansion, under construction on the northern end of the store, will add 15,000 square feet to the existing 65,000-square-foot store. A February completion date is expected for the space, which will stretch the existing space to include enough room for three sets of store aisles and additional store displays and sale items.

“We’re just going to be a bigger and newer store,” said Molly Entwistle, a store spokeswoman..

Based in Boise, Idaho, WinCo Foods is a chain of nearly 100 employee-owned stores in seven Western states. Its grocery model is a no-frills, bag-your-own concept advertising low-priced foods.

Chuck’s Produce

Organic grocer Chuck’s Produce and Street Market’s new $10 million store is situated about a mile away from Winco at the intersection of Northeast Highway 99 and 117th Street. The 45,000-square-foot Chuck’s store is planned to open in July as the Vancouver-based company’s second Clark County store. Green design elements will include low-energy lighting and a refrigeration system that uses far less electricity, said Mike Livermore, Chuck’s general manager.

“It will be quite a large savings,” he said.

The store design also includes a permeable parking surface to help filter out stormwater pollutants.

“The way we do business is a little different from the competition,” Livermore said.

Like the existing Chuck’s store off Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard, the new store will include a prominent, well-stocked organic produce department. It also will feature an artisan-style bakery, dairy department, deli and meat department stocked with locally produced meats.

Similar to Portland-based organic grocer New Seasons Market, Chuck’s Produce caters to an upscale pool of health-conscious consumers. But Livermore said Chuck’s also draws from a wide variety of consumer groups.

“We attract from the Asian, Russian and Spanish communities,” he said. “It’s a wide variety of people.”