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Point Ruston adding upscale supermarket to its commercial center

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on June 5, 2012 at 11:58 am |
June 5, 2012 2:23 pm

Tacoma’s big Point Ruston development, in a recession-induced hibernation for three years, is adding yet another big tenant as it emerges from its torpor.

Marlene’s Market & Deli announced today it will join a 9-screen Century movie multiplex and a 175-room Silver Cloud Hotel as the third anchor for the mixed-use development’s Waterwalk at Point Ruston commercial center. The waterfront commercial center is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.
Marlene Market & Deli

Point Ruston is a residential and commercial center being built on the 97-acre former Asarco smelter site near Point Defiance. The site’s developer, Point Ruston LLC, is also building a large apartment building, Copperline, on the site and is planning to begin condominium construction later this year. Above the large-scale waterfront site, developer Mike Cohen has built a small cluster of high-end homes on a promentory called Stack Hill. That hill was once the site of the smelter’s towering smokestack, the tallest on the West Coast.

The development company has said it plans to open a realigned Ruston Way between the Tacoma waterfront and Ruston later this month.

Marlene’s Point Ruston location will be its third store. The Federal Way-based company has existing markets in Federal Way and on South 38th Street in Tacoma.

Marlene Beadle, the market’s founder, said she and Mike Cohen and his son, Loren, Point Ruston developers, have been talking about her opening a store in the development for about a year.

Cohen’s company manages the Federal Way shopping center where her store there is located.

Beadle’s family including two daughters, her son and husband, are all involved in running the organic food chain.

“We’re a family company. The Cohens are a family business. It seemed like a natural alliance,” she said. Marlene’s will lease the 20,000-square-foot supermarket from the Cohen’s company.

Mike Cohen said Marlene’s healthy, organic business fit well with the style of the Point Ruston development.

“It was amazing to me to see from how far Marlene’s draws its customers,” said Cohen. “People will drive for miles to shop there.”

The new Point Ruston store will be twice the size, 20,000 square feet, of its existing Tacoma store. The new store will feature an all-organic produce department, deli and bakery sections as well as the company’s signature salad bar, custom soup and sandwich selections.

“Marlene’s Market & Deli will add to the Tacoma and Ruston marketplace by offering North End neighbors a close, full-service grocery store, while also providing vistiors with quick deli selections and ready-to-eat choice for enjoyment at the Waterwalk,” the developer said in a news release.

The nearest full-service supermarkets to the Point Ruston location are in Westgate on Pearl Street and in the Proctor business district.

In addition to food products and ready-to-eat food, the supermarket will carry an extensive selection of natural supplements, body care and beauty products, said the supermarket chief executive.

The developer described the supermarket structure , to be located on Ruston Way on the development’s west side, as a Northwest craftsman-style building with a large outdoor seating area overlooking the waterfront.

“We’re drawing some inspiration from the Granville Island Market in Vancouver for the design of the building,” said Cohen.

The Point Ruston development is building a lengthy waterfront esplanade that will provide a pedestrian link between the end of Tacoma’s existing Ruston Way linear park and Point Defiance Park.

Cohen is expected to announce the signing of several other tenants for Waterwalk soon including four restaurants, retailers and commercial offices. When the commercial part of the development opens in two years, he said, he hopes to have a fitness club and numerous clothing and service businesses among the mix of businesses at the center.

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