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.