Woodland shopping center starts to take shape

Cellular Plus building store on-site, developers recruiting other tenants

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LONGVIEW — A small shopping complex is taking shape in Woodland and could be home to a future new fast-food restaurant off Dike Road near Wal-Mart.

Montana-based Cellular Plus, an authorized dealer of Verizon Wireless, is building a new store on a 0.7-acre lot of undeveloped land previously owned by Wal-Mart. The developers are actively recruiting restaurants and other businesses to lease or purchase space in the small shopping center.

“The only thing we’re really looking to do is just try partner up with a fast food restaurant for a drive-thru or a developer that leases to fast food restaurants,” said Marc Strabic of HSM Pacific Realty, who is managing the property for Cellular Plus. “We’ve had a couple conversations on the way, but nothing formal.”

The drive-thru restaurant building could be about 4,000 square feet, he said. A third building on the lot could be 2,000 square feet.

“We’re going to leave that area undeveloped. … We’ll just leave a compacted pad … all the sidewalks, landscaping, utilities will be ready to go,” Strabic said.

For now, Verizon/Cellular Plus is looking to complete its new space by the end of the year. Verizon/Cellular Plus will move from its current location near Starbucks to 1492 Dike Road.

“It’s just a great location. Where we’re at right now is harder for people to find, so this is just an upgrade and it will allow us to have much more inventory. We’ll have a bigger store,” said Merisa Saunders, marketing director for Cellular Plus.

Saunders said the company hired two new people in anticipation for the move, bringing the store’s total staff to about seven employees.

Strabic declined to name the fast food companies Cellular Plus is talking with because nothing is formalized. Woodland has attracted more fast food chains in recent years, with Taco Bell and Carl’s Jr. joining the ranks of restaurant options in the small but growing city.