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Snoqualmie QFC store still on the drawing board

SNOQUALMIE - If they were running low on canned cranberry sauce during Thanksgiving, Ridge residents couldn't quickly pop over to the store for more.

Yes, another feasting day has come and gone without a neighborhood grocery store for Ridge dwellers to rely on for last-minute details.

And the city of Snoqualmie is slowly losing its patience with QFC, the grocery store chain that has shown the most interest and the least urgency in building on the Ridge.

Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher said the current status with QFC is a waiting game. Months ago, QFC indicated it would submit an application for a building permit but has yet to do so.

"The city cannot move on this issue until that happens," Fletcher said. "As far as the city is concerned, QFC is nowhere."

Mark McDonald, owner and developer of all the retail property on the Ridge, has a deal with Quadrant, the company that has developed the Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood, to build a grocery store of some sort, Fletcher said, but QFC has not yet signed any obligation to buy the land or build the store, "that I or anybody else can find documentation of."

A QFC representative came to a Snoqualmie City Council meeting three weeks ago and said the chain was ready to submit an application to get the ball rolling, but that never happened, Fletcher said.

The council has requested that Quadrant give the city a hard copy of the signed agreement between McDonald and Quadrant to see when the expiration date of the store agreement actually is. Fletcher said that the city was told by Dave Dorothy of Quadrant that the city could have that.

"The council and I are trying to determine if Quadrant can buy back the land to sell to someone that is actually going to build our citizens a grocery store or if we are going to have to stand around for a few more years while this mega chain holds up progress in the retail village," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said his goal is to have a grocery store that fits the design standards approved by the council as soon as possible.

"It frustrates me to know that we could have had a store two-plus years ago and someone outside the city is making all the decisions, not only without consulting or informing the city but not in the best interest of the residents of Snoqualmie," Fletcher said.

Quadrant has been trying to land a grocery store for the past couple of years. Residents have wanted a neighborhood grocery store so they don't have to run to North Bend whenever they need a few essentials, and retail owners have wanted one to anchor the area and bring in more traffic.

QFC could not be reached for comment

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