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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Trader Joe’s coming to north Spokane in 2015

California grocery retailer Trader Joe’s plans to open its second store in Spokane next year, taking space at the Franklin Park Mall.

The popular Southern California-based company has leased 12,100 square feet in the north Spokane retail mall at 5420 N. Division St., company spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said.

In October 2011, the company opened its first Eastern Washington store in the Lincoln Heights Village shopping area. Almost cultlike interest in the store’s arrival peaked in the months before the formal announcement by Trader Joe’s.

The South Hill store’s success has prompted rumors for the past year that a second location would be coming. Until Tuesday, the grocery chain had denied plans for a second store in Spokane.

Trader Joe’s will move into roughly half the space now used by Rite-Aid at Franklin Park Mall. Rite-Aid is moving next year to a pad building near Burlington Coat Factory on the same block, said Carmen Decker, real estate director in Washington for Kimco Realty, the New York-based real estate investment trust that owns Franklin Park Mall. The north Spokane retail development is Kimco’s only Eastern Washington property.

Decker said the attraction of a Trader Joe’s store in that retail development is bound to be significant.

“We know their first store in town has done exceptionally well. We’re excited to have them,” Decker said, adding that a new Trader Joe’s will increase interest in other vacancies there, plus attract more shoppers to that retail mall.

Kimco and Trader Joe’s will share the cost of improvements to the space, she said.

Trader Joe’s opened in 1967 in Pasadena, California. The chain opened its first location outside of California in 1993 and now has more than 415 stores nationwide.

Prior to the South Hill store’s opening, a “Bring Trader Joe’s to Spokane” Facebook page gathered more than 21,000 “likes” from fans who pleaded with the company to add a store here.

The second Spokane store will be the 23rd Trader Joe’s in Washington. The company also plans to open a new store in 2015 in Shoreline, Washington.

Mochizuki said the plan is to open the new Spokane store in the second half of 2015. She declined to comment on whether Trader Joe’s would add a regional distribution center for Eastern Washington. The company also didn’t disclose how many workers it will hire.

Spokane developer Dave Black said the first Trader Joe’s had a big impact on the Lincoln Heights area and he expects the same positive benefit in north Spokane. Black was responsible for the new Target store on South Regal south of Lincoln Heights.

“Trader Joe’s has a cultlike following that will be great for that shopping area and the north side of Spokane,” Black said.