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New tenants jostle for space in two long-empty Gig Harbor storefronts

New tenants are lining up for empty storefronts in Gig Harbor.

At least two grocery chains have expressed interest in the former Main & Vine store location on Point Fosdick Drive, and a compounding pharmacy is in line to take over the old Key Bank location downtown.

An August planning session with the City of Gig Harbor laid out a tentative proposal for a 32,000-square-foot Metropolitan Market at the former Main & Vine location, 5010 Point Fosdick Dr. NW.

The developers stressed that everything is preliminary and no leases have been signed. A rival grocer, Town & Country Markets, said it is also interested in the property.

Additionally, the Harbor Plaza space that held the 37,000-square-foot Main & Vine is big enough that a second retailer, yet to be named, would go into the remaining 5,711-square-foot section of the shopping center.

A new pharmacy

Owners of the former Key Bank building at 3216 Judson St. are proposing a compounding pharmacy, Harbor Health Pharmacy, and a smaller tap room to be called Hop Pharm. The former drive-up area would be repurposed into covered outdoor seating for the tap room.

A compounding pharmacy is a drugstore that both makes and sells prescription medications, often specially tailored to individual patients (for example, liquid versions of medications for patients who cannot swallow pills).

In a recent blog post, Mayor Kit Kuhn said the bank building renovation “will provide the much needed pedestrian frontage improvements while also providing more open space than is required.

The developer is Cannongate Development of Silverdale. The architect on the project is Darrin M. Filand of Gig Harbor.

Conrad Esser of Cannongate said his company has been working with the city for about four months, trying to get a site plan approved. Besides the pharmacy, a steak house restaurant and an engineering firm are also interested in the property, he said.

“There’s a lot of interest in the building, and everybody keeps asking us what’s going on with it, but at this point, we’re still waiting to get our site plan approved,” Esser said.

Part of negotiations with the city is over new sidewalks on Judson Street, he said.

A revised site plan is necessary for the 4,970 square-foot building because of the change from a financial institution to retail. Esser said he hopes to get a site plan approved by mid-November.

Tenants are still preliminary, he said. The pharmacy is first in line, he said, but the restaurant and others are also possibilities.

Grocers in play

Meanwhile, another grocer has said it is still in play for the Gig Harbor market.

Town & Country Markets, which at one time was planned for the Village at Harbor Hill, has been eyeing other Gig Harbor locations, and even considered the former Main & Vine location, according to a store representative.

“We did consider it. However, it just couldn’t provide the kind of access that we really need for our markets,” said Becky Fox Marshall, spokeswoman for Town & Country, in response to questions via email.

It has another site it is “seriously” considering, she added. No word yet on that location.

Those involved in the tentative Met Market plans met with the city in August to discuss site plans. At that meeting, the audio of which is on file with the city, discussions focused on changing the facade and setting back the entry of the store slightly to increase the front sidewalk space.

A subsequent project description submitted to the city says the facade upgrade “will utilize a combination of horizontal lap siding, stone veneer and stucco as an accent material.”

Peter Katich, senior planner with the city, said the land-use applications were submitted to the city last week and were determined to be complete.

According to Katich, the city has 120 days from the date of complete application to process the land-use permits to completion. The development “clock” can be stopped if more information is needed.

Building permits have not yet been submitted but could come next year if the design review goes well, according to John Hogan, manager for Harbor Pacific Properties, the site’s owner.

The site has been vacant since Main & Vine’s departure at the end of 2017, ahead of the opening of a new Fred Meyer.

Main & Vine was a grocery “experiment” run by its Cincinnati-based parent company, Kroger, which instituted some of Main & Vine’s features and brought some of its former workers to its new Fred Meyer.

If the Met Market plans come to fruition, the Point Fosdick-Olympic Drive retail corridor would be home to several grocers within mere blocks of the one intersection, including Safeway, Fred Meyer and Harbor Greens.

Debbie Cockerill of The News Tribune contributed to this story. Reach her at dcockrell@thenewstribune.com

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