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Revived plan to build new Fred Meyer moving ahead
Larger store will anchor retail development across Highway 16 in Gig Harbor

Plans that first surfaced several years ago to build a new Fred Meyer store in Gig Harbor on the opposite side of Highway 16 from the existing store are moving ahead, and site work could begin later this year.

The new store would anchor a planned retail development to be built along the west side of Point Fosdick Drive north of Olympic Drive, and would include land that has been used by Fife RV at the north end of the property. Fife RV is closing its Gig Harbor dealership and currently advertising a liquidation sale.

Besides a 64,000-square-foot Fred Meyer with a gas station — something the existing store does not have — the Olympic Towne Center development will include five other buildings and have total retail space of more than 170,000 square feet.

“The overall design is essentially buttoned up,” said Dennis Troy, an associate planner with the city. He added that the applicant, WWR Properties of University Place, is currently going through the SEPA approval process and revising a traffic impact analysis to address issues raised by the state Dept. of Transportation and Pierce County.

WWR, which also owns the Olympic Village retail center that is the site of the current Fred Meyer store on the east side of Highway 16, has agreed to extend 32nd Avenue behind the new development to connect with Olympic Drive.

Zoning restrictions limit individual buildings to a maximum of 65,000 square feet at the site, but that’s  larger than the existing existing 47,000-square-foot Fred Meyer.

“The Gig Harbor location is primarily a grocery store,” not a typical full-line department store, said Melinda Merrill of Fred Meyer’s public affairs office in Portland. “Most of our stores are 150,000 to 220,000 square feet.”

Olympic Towne Center, which is the largest commercial project currently in development in Gig Harbor, also will have a 57,000-square-foot building that will house a family entertainment center with a bowling alley, restaurant and gaming area. Another building reportedly may be a Petco.

The property already has a Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Papa Murphy’s Pizza, along with a few other small businesses, at the south end of the site by Olympic Drive.

No plans have been publicized for use of the old Fred Meyer store after the new one is built.


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