Large Grocery Store Retail Development in Snoqualmie Ridge Business Park Closer to Reality

In August 2015 it was confirmed by City of Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman that a developer wanted to build a large grocery store-anchored retail center in the Snoqualmie Ridge Business Park – across from the Snoqualmie Police Station on Douglas Street.

Over the summer the developer submitted development applications, along with a site plan for the 7.4 acres of vacant land that is zoned as Mixed Use, which gives the city flexibility to make changes regarding what can be built on it.

The plans, though, do call for amendments to the Snoqualmie Ridge Mixed Use Plan and Development Standards, as well as a Binding Site Improvement Plans, which the city council would have to approve before the project could move forward.

The proposed retail center application triggered a city review process that is currently underway, including a Public Hearing that was held on October 19, 2015. According to Hofman, the meeting went well, with many supporters of the project in audience.

The City of Snoqualmie Planning Commission was charged with recommending to city council if the amendments should be made, which would in part expand the allowable uses for the business park land parcels to include more retail – making the development possible.

The Planning Commission finished deliberating on some remaining issues at their November 2nd meeting and according to a City Council meeting agenda staff report, recommended the council approve the amendments.

Hofman anticipates the proposed amendments and a draft Development Agreement to go to the City Council [probably] on December 14th. The developer wants to begin construction in 2016.

Proposed Retail Center Components

The proposed retail center would be anchored by a 43,400 sq. ft. grocery store – or about twice the size of the Snoqualmie Ridge IGA – and also include drive-thru retail, drive-thru fast food, retail without a drive thru and a fuel sales element associated with the grocery store.

Hofman said it’s too early to confirm which grocery store would anchor the new retail area, but he did say in an effort to ensure the grocery store “indeed gets built,” the Development Agreement would “specify the timing of the full service grocery versus other uses to ensure the community gets a full-service grocery in relation to other new land uses such as drive-thrus.”

Essentially, Hofman explained that although ideally all development components would be built and opened together, the city “may require timing to reflect construction of the grocery first so it opens before any drive-thrus could open.”

Need for More Retail

The push to add more retail in the City of Snoqualmie is in part due to prior retail and economic studies showing that 73% of retail purchases made by Snoqualmie residents are leaked to stores and businesses in surrounding communities – like Issaquah and North Bend.

About decade ago a different developer was interested in building a large grocery in the same location, but the City Council tabled the topic over worries there weren’t enough homes to support two [grocery] stores in Snoqualmie.

After a population stall during the recession, Snoqualmie Ridge is estimated to be built out in 2017, and city officials say the new population demographics can now support additional retail within the community.

In 2015 Snoqualmie had about 13,000 residents versus 8,400 residents when the recession began in 2008.


Conceptual Site Plan for Proposed Grocery store anchored retail center at the corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and Douglas Street in Snoqualmie.
Conceptual Site Plan for Proposed Grocery store anchored retail center at the corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and Douglas Street in Snoqualmie.







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    1. Simple…. They will have to re-evaluate their price gouging… We compared a gallon of milk @ PCC vs a 1/2 gallon @ IGA… Less than $0.40 difference in price…..

    2. I sure hope they fix the HWY 18 and Snoqualmie Parkway interchange before any more expansion on the ridge!!! I’ve been here 10 years and the traffic is getting so bad ! We also need a stop light at the intersection of Fisher and the Parkway!!! Cars go so fast down the parkway!!!

  • We can only hope that it will mean competitive gas prices…pretty bad when Shell is consistently 55-85 cents more per gallon than other stations around.

  • Competition is welcomed along with the revenue to our all but banko City. For a community of our size and economical positioning we need a supermarket that has a larger produce section then the frozen food section. As for fast food…. come on really. Taco Del Mar, Starbucks, Subway are all already here. With the demographics of our city we are all going 100 MPH, it would be nice to pick up a quick dinner to spend more time with the family every once in a while. BTW fast food can be built tastefully, you ever been to Whistler, Mercer Island, Kent Station, Issaquah highlands…..

  • great news. I am hoping for Fred Meyer since I doubt Safeway would be in North Bend and Snoqualmie. It would be huge for Snoqualmie because we could do so much of what we do in Issy right here at home. I am sure this will spell doom for IGA.

  • 73% of shopping is off ridge for two simple reasons. One, rent is so high they can’t afford to make a profit, so they close, and high rent dissuades anyone from wanting to open. Two, I don’t work on the ridge. So I shop where I work. Which means that people who do open, don’t get my business.
    Look at the food costs of the eateries. Average bill for 4 is now in the $50-60 range for, let’s be honest, ok Mexican and a fake Irish pub.
    The prices are high so rent can be paid. More development isn’t going to fix the problem.

    1. True although we need to increase our (sales) tax base as our real estate taxes are higher than most….so that might encourage you to shop here and support our city.

  • I would welcome a retail center that would offer us a full size grocery store with pharmacy, and maybe a restaurant like Panera which is good to sit down for a meal or take out. And with all the dogs and cats that reside on the Ridge, how about a Petco? I like the newer one on the Plateau in Sammamish. I remember when there was the small feed store on the Ridge that closed, but that was several years ago, and it also did so when the economy was down. Petco offers more including grooming. A lot to think about, but if this is approved, I hope the architects look at the center where the Shell is and do something with rustic wood trim and river rock or stacked stoned. We lived on the Sammamish Plateau for a long time and when they built the Saffron retail center it was so out of place, because it wasn’t in keeping with the existing Sammamish Highlands across the street. Saffron was so poorly designed, and for no better word, just plain ugly. Still is.???? A well built attractive retail center on the Ridge would be so convenient and add nothing but value to our homes.

  • I’m guessing a new Safeway so they can close the old, dirty, crime-filled location in North Bend. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something like the Safeway in Issaquah (like either the one on Gilman or the new Highlands one!)! My first vote would be for a Fred Meyer…but, unlike Portland, where there are Fred Meyers everywhere, I don’t see them building another one within 25 miles of existing one!!! Seems PNW residents like to drive everyplace!!! Kroger building another QFC with higher prices and limited choices isn’t the answer, either. Someone says Snoqualmie area is fastest growing area in WA…….but, other than houses/condos/apartments, there is NOTHING here!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But, it’s lovely and rural 🙂

  • Living Snoqualmie