Yelm is Becoming Commercial Center Growth January 30, 2002

Yelm is Becoming Commercial  Center  Growth:  New Businesses From Surrounding area in North Thurston County

By Cecilia Nguyen  The News Tribune   January 30, 2002

Rural Yelm is acquiring some big-city amenities Yelm is at the center of much of the commercial and retail development in North Thurston County, with the construction of a Safeway grocery store, Rite Aid pharmacy and movie theater in the past five years.

Most recently, Starbucks opened a coffee shop off Yelm Avenue, the city’s main commercial and retail street.

Yelm is becoming the commercial hub for a lot of the rural communities in this area Yelm city administrator Shelley Badger said, “The big reason for the growth is because our location. We are the center of a very large rural area.”

Retailers who once traditionally looked retail centers in Olympia and Tacoma quickly realizing Yelm’s potential. In 1999, the Yelm Cinemas’ developers performed an area market study.

It identified a far larger consumer base than just Yelm’s 3,289 residents.  The study estimated 65,000 people within a 15-mile radius, 640,000 people within a 25-mile radius.

“What surprised us was the numbers were so high,” Yelm Cinemas spokesman John Thompson said.

Since the movie theater’s opening in December 2000, attendance has exceeded market study expectations, Thompson added.

“This is a growing area with an expanding economic base,” Thompson said. “Other businesses are starting to figure out that Yelm might be the place to locate.”

The additional tax revenue funded most of the city’s essential services last year, Yelm officials say.

In 2001, Yelm residents paid the city $555,000 in property taxes.  That same year, the city collected $727,000 in sales tax revenue and $480,000 from the business and occupation tax.

Sales and B&O taxes provide more than half- $1.2 million – of the city’s $2.3 million operating general fund budget, Badger said.

Badger commended past elected officials and the current City Council for their realistic planning approaches and foresight.

Officials prepared Yelm for the impending developments by upgrading the city’s infrastructure, such as increasing its wastewater treatment capacity, she added.

Yelm also continues to work on gaining more water rights and improving its systems to accommodate growth.

The next task for city officials, Badger said, is to address Yelm’s growing traffic problems.

The council is searching for a solution to address the high volume of vehicles that drive along Yelm Avenue, which turns into Highway 510. Constructing an alternate route to

bypass Yelm Avenue is one option, officials say.

 

Badger speculates as Yelm’s commercial core expands, more shoppers will discover they can accomplish most of their shopping locally.

“People used to have to drive to Olympia or Tacoma to get what they needed,” Badger said. “The choices are increasing here.”

City officials acknowledge hearing residents voice their fears that Yelm’s small-town atmosphere could diminish with added economic development. No formal anti-growth movement has formed so far.

“From time to time we hear people say, ‘It’s not like what it used to be Badger said. “But we also hear positive comments saying, ‘It’s nice to be able attend a movie and shop in town.'”

And Thompson believes Yelm’s close proximity to the smaller Thurston County communities meant the city was destined to grow.

“Yelm’s growth was inevitable -whether we wanted it or not,” Thompson said. “It’s just a matter of whether it was planned growth.”

 

 

Sunbirds closing in on Nisqually Plaza August 18, 2000

Sunbirds closing in on Nisqually Plaza

Nisqually Valley News August 18, 2000

By Seth Truscott

A Chehalis-based hardware store may soon be expanding into the old Rite Aid location in the Nisqually Plaza. The City of Yelm received an application for a business license from Sunbirds Shopping Center in the former Rite Aid next to QFC supermarket.

Also, a local sign company recently inquired to the city about assembling a sign for Sunbirds at that location.

Awaiting final approval, spokespersons for Sunbirds have, declined to comment on the move, as have the owners of the building, Barclay’s Realty of Beverly Hills Calif.

During a visit last week, city employee Gary Carlson said that Sunbirds staff told him that the old Rite Aid interior wouldn’t be seeing any major remodeling requiring a building permit. So far, their entry into Yelm has been quiet.

“They’re keeping it pretty close to the vest,” He said. A spokeswoman for Rite Aid Corporation finalized a deal with a prospective renter of the building. Rite Aid’s new building across Yelm  Avenue on Vancil Road was completed earlier this year, and Rite Aid moved in April 15, leaving the old building empty, its windows papered over. “We have subleased the space.” Rite Aid spokeswoman Sarah Datz said. “It’s going to be a hardware store”. Rite Aid acquired the lease to the building when it took over PayLess drugstores in 1996.

For a new business to occupy the old Rite Aid location, it must sub-lease the property from Rite Aid, until the old lease runs out in about a year. After that, a new lease will have to be conducted with Barclay’s Realty, the owners of the Nisqually Plaza space. Gus Salloum, a spokesman for Sunbirds, said earlier this year that the store is a general merchandise store that carries a variety of items, including hardware, tools, shoes, boots, and clothes. Sunbirds also sells sporting goods, gardening items, and hardware.

Currently there is only one other Sunbirds location, on National Avenue in Chehalis. Sunbirds’ Chehalis store has been open for 15 years, after closing for a short time in 1996 as a result of flooding. The former Rite Aid spot is considered desirable because of its ample parking and central location.

(Prepard by Brendan Young)

Sunbirds Closing in on Nisqually Plaza August 18, 2000

Sunbirds Closing in on Nisqually Plaza

By Seth Truscott

Nisqually Valley News August 18, 2000

A Chehalis-based hardware store may soon be expanding into the old Rite Aid location in the Nisqually Plaza.

The City of Yelm received an application for a business license from Sunbirds Shopping Center in the former Rite Aid building next to QFC supermarket.

Also, a local sign company recently inquired to the city about assembling a sign for Sunbirds at that location.

Awaiting   final   approval, spokespersons for Sunbirds have declined to comment on the move, as have the owners of the building, Barclay’s Realty of Beverly Hills, Calif.

During a visit last week, city employee Gary Carlson said that Sunbirds staff told him that the old Rite Aid interior wouldn’t be seeing any major remodeling requiring a building permit. So far, their entry into Yelm has been quiet.

“They’re keeping it pretty close to the vest” he said.

A spokeswoman for Rite Aid corporation confirmed that Rite Aid finalized a deal with a

prospective renter of the building.  Rite Aid’s new building across Yelm Avenue on Vancil Road was completed earlier this year, and Rite Aid moved in April 15, leaving the old building empty, its windows papered over.

“We have subleased the space,” Rite Aid spokeswoman Sarah Datz said. “It’s going to be a hardware store”.

Rite Aid acquired the lease to the building when it took over PayLess drugstores in 1996.

For a new business to occupy the old Rite Aid location, it must sub-lease the property from Rite Aid, until the old lease runs out in about a year.

After that, a new lease will have to be conducted with Barclay’s Realty, the owners of the

Nisqually Plaza space. Gus Salloum, a spokesman for Sunbirds, said earlier this year that the store is a general merchandise store that carries a variety of items, including hardware, tools, shoes, boots, and clothes.

Sunbirds also sells sporting goods, gardening items and hardware.

Currently, there is only one other Sunbirds location, National Avenue in Chehalis. Sunbirds’ Chehalis store has been open for 15 years, after closing for  a short time in 1996 as a result of the flooding.

The former Rite Aid spot is considered desirable because of its ample parking and location.

Yelm is Becoming Commercial Center Growth: New Businesses From Surrounding area in North Thurston County January 30, 2002

Yelm is Becoming Commercial  Center  Growth:  New Businesses From Surrounding area in North Thurston County

By Cecilia Nguyen The News Tribune January 30, 2002

Rural Yelm is acquiring some big-city amenities Yelm is at the center of much of the commercial and retail development in North Thurston County, with the construction of a Safeway grocery store, Rite Aid pharmacy and movie theater in the past five years.

Most recently, Starbucks opened a coffee shop off Yelm Avenue, the city’s main commercial and retail street.

Yelm is becoming the commercial hub for a lot of the rural communities in this area. Yelm city administrator Shelley Badger said, “The big reason for the growth is because our location. We are the center of a very large rural area.”

Retailers who once traditionally looked retail centers in Olympia and Tacoma quickly realizing Yelm’s potential. In 1999, the Yelm Cinemas’ developers performed an area market study. It identified a far larger consumer base than just Yelm’s 3,289 residents.  The study estimated 65,000 people within a 15-mile radius, 640,000 people within a 25-mile radius.

“What surprised us was the numbers were so high,” Yelm Cinemas spokesman John Thompson said.

Since the movie theater’s opening in December 2000, attendance has exceeded market study expectations, Thompson added.

“This is a growing area with an expanding economic base,” Thompson said. “Other businesses are starting to figure out that Yelm might be the place to locate.”

The additional tax revenue funded most of the city’s essential services last year, Yelm officials say.

In 2001, Yelm residents paid the city $555,000 in property taxes. That same year, the city collected $727,000 in sales tax revenue and $480,000 from the business and occupation tax. Sales and B&O taxes provide more than half- $1.2 million – of the city’s $2.3 million operating general fund budget, Badger said.

Badger commended past elected officials and the current City Council for their realistic planning approaches and foresight.

Officials prepared Yelm for the impending developments by upgrading the city’s infrastructure, such as increasing its wastewater treatment capacity, she added.

Yelm also continues to work on gaining more water rights and improving its systems to accommodate growth.

The next task for city officials, Badger said, is to address Yelm’s growing traffic problems.

The council is searching for a solution to address the high volume of vehicles that drive along Yelm Avenue, which turns into Highway 510. Constructing an alternate route to bypass Yelm Avenue is one option, officials say.

Badger speculates as Yelm’s commercial core expands, more shoppers will discover they can accomplish most of their shopping locally.“People used to have to drive to Olympia or Tacoma to get what they needed,” Badger said. “The choices are increasing here.”

City officials acknowledge hearing residents voice their fears that Yelm’s small-town atmosphere could diminish with added economic development. No formal anti-growth movement has formed so far.

“From time to time we hear people say, ‘It’s not like what it used to be Badger said. “But we also hear positive comments saying, ‘It’s nice to be able attend a movie and shop in town.'”

And Thompson believes Yelm’s close proximity to the smaller Thurston County communities meant the city was destined to grow. “Yelm’s growth was inevitable -whether we wanted it or not,” Thompson said. “It’s just a matter of whether it was planned growth.”