The rumors of a large, chain grocery store coming to Snoqualmie have been circulating for several months. It now appears that rumor is public knowledge.
According to City of Snoqualmie Community Development Director, Mark Hofman, development applications were recently submitted for a Snoqualmie Ridge Grocery Store-Anchored Retail Center on Business Park lots #11 and #12-1 at the corner Douglas Street and Snoqualmie Parkway (across from the Snoqualmie Police Station), estimated to begin construction in 2016.
Review Process to Begin for Potential Development
The submitted applications trigger a City review process regarding the retail development proposed for 7.4 acres of vacant land currently zoned for Mixed Use. That mixed used use zoning means the city has flexibility to make changes regarding what’s allowed to be built.
That doesn’t mean the project a slam dunk. Although the development would not require land rezoning, Hofman stated the applications call for amendments to the Binding Site Improvement Plan 97-01, the Mixed Use Plan for Snoqualmie Ridge and the Snoqualmie Ridge Development Standards.
The amendments, in part, would expand the allowable uses for these business park land parcels to include more retail. They would be discussed during the City’s review process and would require City Council approval before the project could move forward.
Hofman stated there will also be public hearings [at some point] so the community can weigh in on the development and its possible impacts.
Components of Potential Retail Development
According to the project’s Conceptual Site Plan, the retail center would be anchored by a 43,400 sq. ft. grocery store. Although rumors have hinted at QFC, Hofman stated it is too early to confirm that.
Also proposed for the project is new retail with drive-thru, new retail without drive thru, fast food with drive-thru and a fuel sales element associated with the grocery store.
If you live in Snoqualmie, with one [small] full-service grocery store, there’s a high probability that you leave the city to shop.
Previous City of Snoqualmie retail and economic studies showed 73% of retail purchases made by residents are leaked to stores and businesses in surrounding communities – like Issaquah and North Bend.
During the recession, Snoqualmie’s population growth stalled, but according to Hofman, as Snoqualmie Ridge is estimated to be built out in 2017, new population demographics can now support additional retail within the community.
Potential Impact on Existing Businesses
Another grocery store and another gas station. Wondering what does that mean for the Snoqualmie Ridge IGA and Gateway Gas and Deli?
The discussion of more retail on these business park land parcels is not a new topic for the Snoqualmie City Council. Approximately decade ago another developer was interested in building a large grocery at the location, but the City Council ended up tabling the topic over worries there weren’t enough homes to support two stores in Snoqualmie.
Hofman said during future public hearings the city will be better able to discuss what a new retail development means for existing businesses.
The city review process for the submitted development applications may last until Spring 2016.