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Plans submitted for Ridge grocery store

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SNOQUALMIE - Snoqualmie may finally have a supermarket on the way.

Earlier this month, a preliminary site plan for the Snoqualmie Village Market, a 21,400 square-foot grocery store on four acres in the Ridge retail area, was submitted to the city planning department.

Pete Ferren, president of Fergan Research and Store Development Services in Mill Creek, has proposed the store and has been in the grocery store business for more than 24 years. He is working with the property owner Mark McDonald of Northwest Capitol Corp., which submitted the site plan earlier this month.

Construction of the store should begin in July and finish in November "if everything goes correctly. There's still a few hurdles to cross, however," Ferren said.

Ferren worked with Weyerhaeuser in 1997 to estimate sales for that market in 2002 and was approached by McDonald, who had then become owner of some Weyerhaeuser land. Being an independent merchant, Ferren and his partner (who wishes to remain nameless at this time) discussed building a store with McDonald at that time, knowing that if a major retailer stepped up they would have to back out since they couldn't compete financially. The two laid low when QFC showed interest in building on the Ridge, but when it backed out a few months ago, Ferren and his partner stepped forward again. Originally, the team proposed a 10,000 square-foot store, but with the community's growth the two now feel a store more than twice that size will serve Snoqualmie better.

"We have a real interest in reflecting the needs of the community in our store," Ferren said. "We will be putting together focus groups with certain elements of the community to discuss which items we'll carry in the store. We're a standard supermarket format but because there's so much competition in Issaquah and North Bend ... we want to make sure that we balance it out."

MacDonald said the building will be tailored to compliment the style the Ridge shopping area on Center Boulevard, "in the genre of a Metropolitan Market. It's a special store to fit into the community, serve the community's needs. It will be very nice."

Ferren said the name of the store isn't official, but that he wants to capture the village atmosphere of the Ridge retail area and keep the title inclusive for the whole Snoqualmie Valley area.

"The name hasn't been decided on except to be characteristic of 'Snoqualmie Village Market,' that's a generic name we've been operating under," he said. "We want to be as much of a part of the community as possible rather than be linked with the Ridge only."

Staff writer Melissa Kruse can be reached at (425) 888-2311 or by e-mail at: melissa.kruse@valleyrecord.com.

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