YAKIMA – About a year ago, when it became apparent that Shopko was in trouble, Summit Northwest LLC started to consider options for its Yakima-based property, which housed a Shopko store.

Summit Northwest LLC started the process of getting approval from the city of Yakima for a site plan that would convert the property from a single-tenant site into a multiple-retail shopping center.

That was in December. A few weeks later, in mid-January, the store at 5801 Summitview Ave. was among the several dozen Shopkos slated for closure.

In the past several years, the financial woes of national and regional businesses have led to several vacancies in the Yakima area, including the west Yakima Shopko store. A second Shopko store in Union Gap will also be vacant after closing May 12.

Now that the Yakima Shopko has closed, Summit Northwest has started re-developing the property. Yakima approved the site plan in late March.

“We love west Yakima,” said Rob Downing, broker for Summit Northwest LLC. “We think it will be a great opportunity for the (new) retailers.”

The renovation includes splitting the former 94,500-square-foot Shopko building into three spaces and building several new retail pads in the Shopko parking lot area.

Downing said he wasn’t ready to reveal specific names, but said Summit Northwest had a letter of intent for two tenants and was talking to a third. Summit Northwest also is talking to a fast-food outlet, a tire store, a coffee shop and a retailer about building on the new retail pads.

Downing estimates it will take about nine months to redevelop the property, which includes having the retail pads ready for construction. It will take additional time for retail users to build on the new spaces.

Former Albertsons site

Meanwhile, Albertsons Cos. continues to seek a buyer for its former store in Yakima.

The building at 401 S. 40th Ave. has been vacant for more than two years. Albertsons closed in February 2017.

Albertsons Cos. initially looked at either leasing out or selling the property but ultimately decided to find a buyer, said Scott Blankenship of CBRE in Seattle, which is marketing the property for Albertsons Cos.

“We do have potential buyers,” he said.

An Albertsons Cos. spokeswoman confirmed CBRE’s efforts but said she did not have any additional details.

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