The Biz Buzz

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Category: Retail

July
17th

Free cake, no protests as Walmart opens its first Tacoma store

With speeches, cheers and a prayer, Tacoma’s first Walmart store opened Wednesday morning.

Dozens of patrons waited for the doors to open at 8 a.m. as Walmart officials and dignitaries gathered in a semicircle before a makeshift stage to bear witness to $68,000 in charitable contributions and a brief history of the company which, on Wednesday, saw the opening of 24 stores nationwide and two in state – in Tacoma and Vancouver.

“Building this store has been a journey,” said Tom McReynolds, a Walmart manager who oversees nine stores in the Puget

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July
17th

UPDATED: Chick-fil-A planning a Tacoma store

Georgia-based Chick-fil-A, known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, plans to open a drive-through restaurant in Tacoma.

The plans were filed with the City of Tacoma this morning and first noted by local blog exit133.com. A project manager confirmed them to The News Tribune. Those plans indicate the company plans a 4,567-square-foot restaurant at 3902 Steele St., near the Ashley Furniture store in the Tacoma Mall area.

The plans don’t list a timeline for construction. I’m working to get in contact with someone from the company to elaborate. The company doesn’t operate in Washington state now,

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July
10th

Tacoma Top Food & Drug closing

Walmart’s decision to build a store in Tacoma is already having an effect on the city’s retail landscape, though the retail giant’s store has yet to open.

Tacoma’s Top Food & Drug store, a neighbor of the new Walmart,  will close in four to six weeks, the company announced Wednesday.

The store at 3130 South 23rd Street will soon be competing with Walmart, which opens in mid-summer on the site of the former Tacoma Elks Lodge about a block north of the Top Food location.

Haggen Inc., Top Food & Drug owner, said Walmart’s presence was a factor in the

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July
2nd

Tacoma Walmart workers busy stocking shelves – opening set for July 17

The rosebushes are blooming in the parking lot and the baked beans and peanut butter are on the shelves at Walmart Store No. 4137, the 52nd in the state and the first within the Tacoma city limits.

More than 300 newly hired employees have been busy these past few days stocking the shelves while workers outside finished striping the parking lot.

At a staff meeting as the afternoon shift reported for duty Tuesday, the cheer went up inside: “4-1-3-7, shopping here is shopping heaven!”

Store manager Adam Fann announced Tuesday that the store will open to the public

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June
28th

Grocery workers to post informational pickets Wednesday

Attempts to reach a new labor agreement for some 30,000 grocery workers in the Puget Sound area are reaching a confrontational stage.

Workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, will post informational pickets outside 12 stores Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are attempts by local grocery chains to cut back their pay and benefits.

Those informational pickets will march in front of the stores between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. One Tacoma store, the Fred Meyer at 6901 South 19th Street, has been targeted among the dozen Puget Sound stores.

The union claims

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June
27th

New Foss apartment could break ground in September

A new waterfront apartment building, the first built on downtown Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway since the recession began six years ago, could break ground as early as September.

The 167-unit Henry Apartments are planned for a site between the existing Albers Mill and the Interstate 509 cable-stayed bridge over the waterway.

The Foss Waterway Development Authority has been expediting the deal that will allow the construction to begin since early this spring when it requested proposals for the site.

The authority’s board Wednesday night voted unanimously to sell the lot, called Site 1 by the authority, to the Henry Group,

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June
13th

Another success from Spaceworks Tacoma: Grit City GrindHouse opens next week

A shop offering skateboards, longboards and custom art will celebrate its grand opening June 21.

Grit City GrindHouse will operate in the St. Helens neighborhood, just down the hill from Puget Sound Pizza on South 7th Street. The GrindHouse is the latest success from the Spaceworks Tacoma program, which matches artists with vacant commercial space to both enliven neighborhoods and incubate business.

The program began in the summer of 2010 and has worked with more than 100 artists or artist teams in 24 spaces around downtown Tacoma. I profiled some of the business success stories last year,

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June
11th

UPDATED: More apartments planned for Tacoma’s St. Helens neighborhood?

As Exit133.com noted earlier today, one of the developers of The Metropolitan, at 245 St. Helens Ave., is going through environmental review for a new 121-unit apartment building.

The Land Use application, published yesterday, is a public document, and can be read here. It’s a PDF. It also shows the project is in the very early permitting stages.

The details included there show the project would be at the corner of Broadway and South 4th Street, just down the hill from the existing Metropolitan on what is now a vacant lot used for parking. In addition to apartments, the

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