Oregon upscale grocer Market of Choice has earmarked a prime location sandwiched between downtown Bend and the Old Mill District for a new store catering to the growing local population’s diversifying tastes, with groundbreaking slated for next March.
The Eugene-based specialist supermarket chain – which carries conventional groceries as well as natural and organic products – plans a 35-000 square foot facility with associated parking on a 2.6-acre site off Lava Road between NW Colorado and NW Arizona Avenues.
Two single-story commercial buildings are also proposed for an adjoining 1.5-acre parcel to the east, close to the Bend Parkway. An approximately 3,200 square foot building will likely have a single drive-through food service or bank tenant, while the larger 8,000 sq ft structure is anticipated to house multiple commercial tenants with uses such as retail, food service, personal service and/or office.
The larger lot was previously acquired by Market of Choice in 2011, but recently sold to Corvallis-based developers Dickerhoof Properties and Eugene’s Willamette Valley Co. who are teaming up on the overall commercial development, to be known as “Colorado Crossing.”
As a general contractor and real estate firm, Dickerhoof Properties has also partnered with Market of Choice on its Corvallis store, and is known for being active in retail construction, development and repositioning in the Central Oregon area, helming projects including the Red Rock Center in Redmond, with more recent local acquisitions including Bend’s Pioneer Crossing off South Highway 97 and the Three Winds Shopping Center in Sisters.
The Market of Choice store for Bend is envisioned to include a mezzanine floor and to house an array of departments, as well as providing a fireplace and associated customer gathering spots including an outdoor plaza.
“It’s a great concept,” said Darren Dickerhoof, principal with Dickerhoof Properties. “Market of Choice sees this as an optimal central location easily accessible from all parts of town, so I think there is a lot of excitement about moving forward.
“This project is also evidence of increasing activity in that area as part of evolving better connections between the downtown and Old Mill nodes of Bend.
“It will also be nice for my associate and brother Matt to oversee the project as he lives in Bend and this will be the first time he will be able to work from his home area in about seven years!”
Family-owned and operated for 35 years, Market of Choice has four stores in Eugene and one each in Ashland, Corvallis, Portland and West Linn, with a ninth on track to open in Beaverton early next year.
Company President Rick Wright, son of founder Richard Wright, Sr., said the company prided itself on establishing local connections, adding: “We believe every decision we make has a ripple effect. That is why we support local farms and vendors whenever possible, so that our customers can too.
“We have built our business around listening to our customers. When they told us they wanted conventional and organic products all in one place, we made it happen. Today, our customers tell us that when offered a choice, they’d prefer to buy local.
“Buying local is not only good for the environment – it takes less energy to transport goods that are made nearby – it’s also an easy way to support the local economy. When customers make that same choice, they help sustain local farmers, vendors, their families and their employees. It’s a full-circle philosophy that translates into a healthier community.
“Our community commitment is also reflected in how we treat our employees, by providing competitive, family-wage jobs and benefits for more than 800 employees at our Market of Choice stores. That kind of commitment fosters deep loyalty – we’re pleased to say that some of our employees have been here since our inception.
“Because we believe in social responsibility, we place great importance on giving back to the community.”
The construction development portion of the Bend retail building is anticipated to be complete by fall next year, with a following internal configuration timeline meaning the store is likely to open for business some time in early 2016.