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April 01, 2015

Initial construction nearly done at new retail center

Woodburn Independent

Tyler Francke

Pending interior work, TJ Maxx, Red Robin, Panera and other stores could open as early as this summer

Initial construction at the site of Woodburn's newest commercial retail center is expected to wrap up in the next few weeks.

Known as the Arney Retail Center, the three-building, 40,000-square-foot project is located immediately south of Woodburn Premium Outlets. It will be anchored by a T.J. Maxx department store and will also feature a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Panera Bread, with around 8,000 square feet remaining for additional tenants.

It's the latest undertaking of the Portland-based Deacon Development Group, a small and selective firm that does only one or two projects a year, though its parent company, S.D. Deacon, is much larger and served as the general contractor for all four phases of the outlet mall's construction and expansion.

Deacon Development will also own and manage the Arney Retail Center once it's complete.

Pete Snook, development director for Deacon, said he expects his company's work on the shopping center, which includes the exterior design and signage, to be wrapped up by April 20. He added that the tenants will complete the interior work according to their own schedules.

"We don't want to try and announce on their behalf, but I believe the stores will start opening here in the next two to three months," Snook said.

"They kind of fall like dominoes on the calendar," Snook continued. "It will run through the summer."

Snook, whose role with this project included site selection and negotiating with tenants for the available space, said there has been a lot of interest for the remaining square footage at the center.

"People in the retail industry are starting to see the value and shopping power of Woodburn, so there's been a bit of interest in it," he said. "It's a good project, a good location and a good market, so we've been able to show it to a lot of people."

He said the remaining space could be taken by a single tenant, or broken down into three or four smaller stores, adding that he could not identify any of the potential companies until a deal is finalized.

"We're making our decision carefully," Snook said. "We're working with tenants to try and find ones that provide services the area needs."

He said the work at the approximately 4-acre site has gone smoothly and on schedule, and particularly praised the city of Woodburn's staff, calling those he worked with "really proactive and helpful."

"The effort that the city's putting forth to bring more businesses and jobs to town really shows," Snook said. "Working with your City Hall is a pleasant process as opposed to adversarial. There are many communities where it is adversarial."

Representatives of the three confirmed tenants of Arney Retail Center were contacted for information about their opening dates, but only one could be reached before press time.

Colleen Colleary, a vice president for the commercial real estate firm Kidder Mathews, which served as the broker for Red Robin, said her client has targeted August for its opening but hasn't announced a specific date.

"We're very excited about it," she said. "We think it will make a wonderful addition to the city of Woodburn and the Woodburn company stores."

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