Kendall Yards developers are planning to build a grocery store just north of the Monroe Street Bridge.
Developers filed an application with the city of Spokane last week to build the store at 517 N. Monroe, on the northwest corner of Monroe and Summit Parkway.
Documents filed with the city don’t identify what grocery will open at the site, but the architectural firm that is working on the project, Shoesmith Cox Architects in Seattle, previously designed a Safeway in Kirkland, Washington, according to the firm’s website. Some of the renderings of the proposed store on the Kendall Yards and Shoesmith Cox Architect websites label it a Trader Joe’s.
The proposed size of the building, 34,200 square feet, would be slightly larger than the Rosauers store in Browne’s Addition.
Spokane business leaders have long tried to attract an additional grocery store downtown. Technically, the new store is outside the boundaries of the downtown neighborhood and is in West Central, but it is just across the street. The site is also kitty-corner to Riverfront Park.
Spokane City Councilwoman Karen Stratton, who represents the part of town that includes Kendall Yards, said she heard residents of Kendall Yards state a strong desire for a grocery store when she went door-to-door campaigning last year.
Stratton added that she hoped the project would be convenient for the residents of the traditional West Central neighborhood.
“Any kind of development in that area will be good for West Central, but it would be better to have something affordable,” Stratton said.
West Central Neighborhood Council Chairman Mike Brakel said the neighborhood doesn’t have many options for groceries.
“We’re thrilled about it because West Central is a food desert,” Brakel said.
But he said he hopes that rumor about the grocery being Whole Foods isn’t true because despite Kendall Yards, the neighborhood remains one of the poorest in the state and the natural food retailer has a reputation for being expensive.
“That’s not going to really help the majority of residents of West Central,” he said.
There are two groceries within downtown boundaries. Main Market, a co-op with a focus on organic foods, is about a third the size of the proposed store at Kendall Yards. Grocery Outlet, a discount chain, operates in a 22,000-square-foot former Safeway at Third Avenue and Maple Street. The Browne’s Addition Rosauers is a block away from the downtown neighborhood border.
Kendall Yards is built on a former railyard that was vacant for decades. It’s being developed by Greenstone Corp., which started construction in 2010. Attempts made Monday to reach Greenstone officials were unsuccessful.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter