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California-based company plans retail development in Silverdale
It looks like REI might not be the only new retailer coming to Silverdale.
The California-based CenterCal Properties has filed plans to develop a new shopping center at NW Greaves Way and Highway 3, on the western side of Silverdale’s retail center.
At it’s current state, the property under consideration is about 17 and a half acres filed with shrubs, trees and tall grasses. There’s isn’t much there right now except a “For Sale” sign and lots of wetlands.
But the property is considered to be a great place for retail group, as it’s just a stone’s throw away from the Kitsap Mall.
In an application filed last month with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Ecology, the developer plans 200,000 square feet of building space that could include a movie theater, restaurants, grocery store and retail outlets.
Fred Bruning, CenterCal’s CEO, said Monday that the company is thrilled to be coming the Silverdale.
“We truly love the Pacific Northwest and we’re excited about coming to Silverdale,” Bruning said.
Bruning, who was the real estate director of Sears when the Kitsap Mall opened, knows the area well and said his company looks for places where it’s hard to get zoning for retail when they consider a project.
“That means that retail won’t be over built,” he said. “Kitsap County is very strategic when it comes to where they want retail to go and that’s good.”
He said the project which has already begun negotiations with about a dozen tenants, will most likely include a grocery store, specialty retailers, fitness and sporting goods and a new state-of-the-art movie theater.
“The plan it to not take tenants from existing places,” he said, “with the one exception of a movie theater. Right now the theater in the area is outdated and the area really needs a modern theater with 70-foot screens and comfortable seating and the kind of place where you can get something other than popcorn and a Coke.”
The company currently has 6 million square feet of retail development underway in the Pacific Northwest. He said many of the centers are near to existing malls and “have had a positive experience.”
“The malls have begun to make upgrades,” he said. “The reality is that new retail is good for all retail in general. It means that there’s less of a reason for anyone to hop on the ferry and go to Seattle. And that means dollars are being spent and kept locally.”
With the center planned for the Greaves location, Bruning said restaurants will be key.
“What we’ve seen it that people want more restaurants and we’ll be bringing in some new ones,” he said. “We’ll be added new dimensions to the shopping experience. We’ll be offering a place where you can shop and get groceries, get the spa experience and eat out without having to move the car.”
Bruning said the company is cautiously going through the application process with the Army Corps of Engineers.
The application has to be approved by the Army Corps and the ecology permitting process because of the amount of wetlands that are on the property.
In the application filed with the state, the developer plans to fill in 1.74 acres of wetlands and drainages to build the commercial properties. A 15- to 30- foot retaining wall will surround the property to maximize the amount of area that can be built out. An underground storm water detention vault and a detention pond are being proposed to handle the storm water runoff that the project would create.
The entire project would include buildings, parking, landscaping and entrances and exits and would cover about 17.6 acres.
A Woodinville, Wash., company, Talasaea Consultants, Inc., has drafted the plans to mitigating the wetlands impacts. If all goes as planned, Bruning said construction could begin after the first of next year. The retail center could open by Spring 2015.
“It’s a simple project once we get going,” he said. “We’re just excited about being part of the Kitsap community.”
Local commercial real estate agent Ric Bearbower said he thinks the project will happen.
“It’s going to happen,” Bearbower said. “CenterCal is huge. They really know what they’re doing. It’s just a matter of when.”
Bearbower said the approval and permitting process for a project the size of what CenterCal is proposing is complex and very time consuming.
“We know they’re talking with the county and they’ve made application to the Corp,” he said. “There are a lot of questions to be answered.
But that whole area is zoned regional commercial which means it’s prime for development.”
He added that if in the future any large box stores want to go in, that’s the area where they’ll locate. He also said the large box stores that went out of business during the recent recession have been filled.
“All of those spaces have been reoccupied,” he said. “So new construction is inevitable. Right now the economy is picking up and lending has picked back up.
So things are taking shape for more commercial development in central Kitsap.”
Final say on the mitigation plans is up to the Army Corps and department of ecology.
CenterCal is the developer of the Wenatchee Valley Mall and Valley North Center in Wenatchee and several Portland-area shopping centers including the Cascade Station.
They have projects underway in Salt Lake City, Boise and West Ventura County, Calif.
Once the state signs off on the wetlands mitigation, the company will have to get permits from Kitsap County to develop the site and to address storm water issues and county design standards.