Shoppers flock to the West Yakima Grocery Outlet during its grand opening Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Yakima, Wash.

In January two years ago, Shopko announced it would be closing its store in West Yakima within a few months.

Less than two years after the store at 5801 Summitview Ave. closed, the property has been redeveloped for new uses.

Last year, Planet Fitness opened in part of the building, its second location in the Yakima area.

Last week, a Grocery Outlet opened in another part of the building.

Grocery Outlet has been expanding in the last few years. In 2019, Grocery Outlet opened locations in Selah and Sunnyside. The chain offers items at 40% to 70% off through its method of buying. The stores are locally owned, though they receive support and training from Grocery Outlet’s corporate headquarters.

The new West Yakima store owners are no strangers to the area; Tommy Lee previously owned the Downtown Super Foods convenience store in downtown Yakima for several years. He also ran a business in Spokane and worked as a manager for Target for several years.

Lee said he was drawn to Grocery Outlet’s concept, which would enable him and his wife, Becky, to continue to be business owners but with additional support. They lived in California briefly to receive training, which included working at other Grocery Outlet locations.

When Lee heard that Shopko was closing, he approached Grocery Outlet about whether it would be a good location.

“We really wanted to come back here,” he said. “We knew this space was going to be available.”

And the company agreed, allowing Lee and his wife the opportunity they were seeking. “We jumped on it,” he said.

The store, which employs about 40 workers, is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Margaux Maxwell reports for the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. She can be reached at mmaxwell@yakimaherald.com