The developer of a new Trader Joe’s store in Spokane said it expects to begin work on the project by the end of March.
Vandervert Developments is waiting for permit approvals from the city of Spokane’s building department.
The popular food market chain, based in Southern California, announced in November that it will build its first Spokane store in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center.
Chris Bornhoft, a project coordinator for Vandervert Developments, said the project is taking longer to get off the drawing board due to having two phases. The first is demolishing one building and putting in a new store, followed by a second phase of renovating four storefronts in the same area.
As part of the deal with Trader Joe’s, the property owner, Lincoln Heights Center, LLC, agreed to renovate the facades of the four adjoining spaces.
“They suggested it would be a good idea to update the look and feel of the area, and get away from the ’50s and ’60s look it has now,” Bornhoft said.
Preparing the permits required Vandervert to coordinate the two phases for the least disruption to existing store tenants and nearby shoppers, Bornhoft said.
Once the work starts, with the demolition of the building now used by Referee Photo, Vandervert estimates the Trader Joe’s building will take four to five months to construct.
That 12,500-square-foot building will cost roughly $850,000 to build, Bornhoft said.
Then Trader Joe’s will move in and get the store ready for customers. Bornhoft said Trader Joe’s has not announced a likely opening date.
“All they’ve said is it will be open in 2011,” he said.
Vandervert Construction crews will redo the facades of businesses alongside the new site: Hogan’s, Mother’s Cupboard health foods, Hallmark and Coldstone Creamery. That phase will run about $380,000, according to permits.
Two other changes are part of the project:
• One street entrance off 29th Avenue into the Lincoln Heights parking area will be closed, said Bornhoft. Planners say there are too many entrances and that eliminating one will ease traffic flow.
• Project designers expect to gain a few more parking spots by reconfiguring the spaces west of the new store. They’re also adding parking spaces north and east of Trader Joe’s.
The completed store should measure about 84 feet wide by 140 feet long.