After announcing earlier this year it would open its first South Sound location in Tacoma, Top Pot Doughnuts is opening a second location in University Place.
The Seattle-based doughnut chain hopes to open in UP in the spring, potentially before it opens its Proctor Station location, said Jeff Kraft, vice president at Kidder Mathews commercial real estate.
"They're taking the prominent end cap location next to Whole Foods," Kraft said. "They had been looking at this project for some time."
Top Pot today counts 20 locations, primarily in King County in addition to three stores in Texas. Co-founder Mark Klebeck hails from Lakewood and said this summer the business had been looking to expand into the South Sound market for a while.
The bakery that also specializes in coffee, pastries and sandwiches, isn't the only new business planning to open this spring in UP's commercial center.
Mediterranean Gyro Grill also has inked a deal to open in the same retail complex on Bridgeport Way. It will be the restaurant's second location. The first is on Hoyt Road Southwest in Federal Way.
"Once (restaurant owner Jay Barbour) came to the University Place area and did a little research, he really fell in love with the area and specifically the site," Kraft said.
Barbour was out of the country and unable to comment Tuesday.
"He loved the fact that the new Whole Foods next door would bring a lot of additional visibility," Kraft said.
The two eateries will go in the bottom retail level of the Clearview 100 apartment building. The restaurant will occupy just under 2,000 square feet and the cafe roughly 1,600 square feet.
The businesses will be closest to Whole Foods at the northern end of the commercial center. The property is owned by SEB Inc., which built the adjoined apartments and ground floor retail.
SEB Inc. also is finishing work on its second apartment complex at the southern end of the commercial center. That building, Latitude 47, includes a parking garage and additional ground floor retail space.
Two vacant retail spaces remain in the Clearview building, and Kraft hopes to finalize negotiations on those spaces before the holidays. Businesses have also expressed interest in the available retail space below the Latitude 47 building, he said.
Development has stalled elsewhere on the Town Center property, which is being marketed as the Village at Chambers Bay.
Verus, the retail development company under contract with the city to bring tenants to the 18-acre site, has been working with UP officials to prepare the land for development.
The city spent much of 2015 clearing easements from the land titles to ready it for development, UP City Attorney Steve Victor said.
Verus hopes to begin development soon on the site that's now used as a parking lot at the southern portion of the campus, Victor said.