Two new grocers have opened in Kirkland in recent weeks, anchoring both the northern and south ends of the city.
Grocery Outlet is open for business in Kirkland’s Bridle Trails neighborhood, following a grand opening on Aug. 23. It follows the opening of the Totem Lake’s Whole Foods on Aug. 14.
The grocery and discount goods retailer’s opening was marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony, a packed parking lot and lines wrapping around the store. This may have been due to both the store offering the first 200 shoppers a gift card worth between $5 and $200 as well as a neighborhood excited to see another grocer open up in the old Red Apple location.
The new Grocery Outlet is run by Mike and Annica Powell, who opened the store after the old Red Apple shut down last February. The closure prompted more than 1,250 people to sign a petition calling for the store to remain but the owners cited a rent increase imposed by their landlords and mounting maintenance costs as reasons why they shut down.
The Bridle Trails Grocery Outlet will create 30 new jobs and return a community shopping location to the neighborhood.
The other major retailer Whole Foods recently opened its Totem Lake location as part of the area’s massive redevelopment.
“Whole Foods has come in. It’s one of the anchor tenants and they’re a great company to work with,” Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce executive director Samantha St. John told the Reporter.
Whole Foods added around 150 jobs and began working with the chamber almost immediately, St. John said. The Totem Lake development will create a new urban center in the city with a mix of services, retailers and housing.
“It’ll bring a lot of new customers to Kirkland, there’s new residents coming in there,” St. John said.
In total, the Totem Lake redevelopment will have more than 1,400 parking spaces for both retail and residential use and around 855 residential units for more than 360,000 square feet of residential and retail space. The project will be completed in two phases with the first being completed this year and the next anticipated to be finished in 2019.