Fred Meyer plans rental units plus Oregon store

WILSONVILLE — Fred Meyer has long prided itself on one-stop shopping, from groceries to clothing and jewelry. Now it's moving ahead with plans to build a retail complex that will include housing in this community south of Portland.

Planned for an area near Interstate 5 is a midsized store plus 56 rental units.

A pioneer-themed architectural style is designed to fit in with Wilsonville's Old Town District.

Construction is due to begin in June. The 145,000-square-foot facility is expected to open by July 2011. The company owns and will sell development rights to an additional 100,000 square feet of space. That area will be split evenly between additional retail offerings and housing.

"We've had our eye on this project for a long, long time," said Don Forrest, Fred Meyer's site acquisition manager. "We're pleased that it's finally ready to move ahead."

The company purchased the 17.8-acre property in 1993.

Forrest said Fred Meyer is considering adding several floors of housing above its Greenwood store in Seattle. But the Wilsonville store remains on schedule to be the first of its 130 outlets to feature onsite housing.

The city is one of the few in the region with more jobs than residents, meaning large numbers of workers commute into the city every day.

Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp, citing a general shortage of affordable housing, said he hopes many of those staffing the new store will occupy the 56 rental units.

"In a bigger city, it might have been more difficult to get this added into the mix," Knapp said of the planned housing. "But we really think that the new ground being plowed here will now be more applicable elsewhere as well."

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