Business Community

Town & Country Market hits pause on Gig Harbor plans

Posted on July 5th, 2022 By:

Town & Country Markets won’t be coming to Gig Harbor in the immediate future, according to a statement from a public relations firm working on the regional grocery chain’s behalf.

T&C had been widely believed to be the prospective anchor tenant for the redevelopment of the Peninsula Shopping Center complex on Judson Street in downtown Gig Harbor.

Preliminary documents filed with the city of Gig Harbor envision an updated Peninsula Shopping Center, including mezzanine space added to the grocery portion of the building.

Preliminary documents filed with the city of Gig Harbor envision an updated Peninsula Shopping Center, including mezzanine space added to the grocery portion of the building. City of Gig Harbor

Town & Country’s interest in Gig Harbor

Preliminary documents filed with the city had indicated that the redevelopment would “reintroduce a regional grocery store to the site.” An annotation by city staff indicated that the “anchor tenant as staff understands it is T&C.”

It won’t be, at least for now.

Town & Country Markets has been working to locate a new store in the Gig Harbor community for many years, working with two different developer groups, the latest of which was to establish a downtown location,” according to the statement from T&C President and CEO Bill Weymer. “At this time, a combination of factors, including general slowing in the broader economy, continued supply chain issues, and rapid cost escalation, led to the realization that this wasn’t the right time and circumstances to move forward with a new location in Gig Harbor.”

As far back as 2020, the chain had expressed interest in the Peninsula Shopping Center location. The chain, which has roots in neighboring Kitsap County, posted this then:

“We are considering a new market, much like our T&C Market Bainbridge Island, at the former Thriftway/QFC store in the Peninsula Shopping Center on Judson Street downtown,” the post said. “We are working with The Rush Companies on a potential agreement to locate at the downtown site, with site redevelopment.”

What happens now?

Gig Harbor-based Rush Construction is the developer behind the Peninsula Shopping Center renovation. Rush Vice President Chris DeWald indicated in an email to Gig Harbor Now on Tuesday that the company intends to move forward with the project.

“We are disappointed that we were unable to come to a lease agreement with Town & Country Markets,” DeWald wrote in the email. “We are now preparing to go out to the market to see if we can find another tenant to occupy the vacated 7 Seas space.”

Dewald went on to write that while Rush remains open to a grocery for the anchor space, the company will also consider “other solid tenants.

“At this point, we are pushing the pause button on permitting and entitlements while we gauge market interest,” DeWald wrote.

In addition to the new grocery space, the redevelopment called for aesthetic improvements and demolition of about 9,000 square feet of the central portion of the complex. The demolition would allow more parking and better traffic circulation.

The Peninsula Shopping Center on Judson Drive could soon have a major renovation, and after that possibly a new grocery. Vince Dice

Peninsula Shopping Center background

The anchor space at Peninsula Shopping Center has been mostly vacant since QFC/Thriftway departed in 2011. That left the downtown area without a full-service grocery store.

Finholm’s Market on North Harborview Drive and The Harbor General Store on Pioneer Way continue to serve the area.

7 Seas Brewing occupied a 10,000-square-foot space at the shopping center from 2012 until March 21, 2021, when it moved down the hill to the former home of The Green Turtle Restaurant. Green Turtle had been there 26 years before closing on Sept. 30, 2019. 7 Seas is now located at the mouth of the harbor at 2985 Harborview Dr.

Current tenants at the center include the U.S. Post Office; Mizu Japanese Steakhouse; Harbor Barber; Sushi Teriyaki; Lucky Dog Outfitters; McBeckland’s Boutique; and Columbia Bank. The plans seem to indicate that the Post Office would remain at the shopping center.