HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

North Albany to regain a grocery

Written December 30th, 2016 by Hasso Hering
The former grocery store at North Albany Village as it looked last February.

The former grocery store at North Albany Village as it looked last February.

It’s been a long wait, but North Albany is on the verge of getting its own grocery store again. Not only that, but as I get the story, the grocery will be paired with a hardware store.

The main anchor space in the North Albany Village shopping center has been vacant since Ray’s, which had operated there since the center opened, closed in December 2013. I’ve been trying to keep track of efforts by the Deacon Corp., the shopping center’s developer, to find a new tenant for the space since then, and now it looks as though those efforts have been crowned with success.

The prospective new tenant is The Myers Group, a company based in Clinton, in Washington state’s Puget Sound. The company intends to open a grocery combined with an Ace hardware store at North Albany Village. Two-thirds of the space inside the old Ray’s would become the new grocery, with the hardware section, in the other third. An outside addition would be built for sales of equipment such as yard machines. The operation would likely be ready to open this coming summer or fall.

I haven’t had a chance to speak with the principals yet, but the company was described to me as one that goes to great lengths to run its stores based on the needs of their neighborhoods. One time, during a power failure, I was told, it brought in generators to run one of its stores and invited the neighbors to come and spend the night to stay warm.

The Myers Group owns and operates grocery stores, hardware stores, and gas stations in Washington, Montana and Alaska. The Albany store would be its first in Oregon. According to its website, the group also oversees shopping center development and provides management services for other business owners. “In the past ten years,” it says, “we’ve won recognition as both the global International IGA Retailer of the Year and the Washington Food Industry Retailer of the Year — but what we’re most proud of is our reputation for trustworthiness and integrity among our satisfied clients and partners.”

The company began in 1978 when Kent Myers opened Casey’s, a single grocery store on Whidbey Island. Since then, according to the website, it has grown from a family business of 25 people to a company of 550.

At an auction, the group bought some equipment from a former Haggen supermarket and is about to start moving it into the North Albany space. So if you happen to catch sight of that activity, now you know what’s going on. (hh)



40 responses to “North Albany to regain a grocery”

  1. centrist says:

    Hardware and groceries
    Nice combination. A real convenience store

  2. Grace Peterson says:

    Hooray! This is great news. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Shane says:

    Finally! Sounds better than I had hoped for! Thank you for the great news.

  4. Richard Kay says:

    What do we have to do to get a grocery store in SW Albany?

  5. J Johnon says:

    Happy to hear the news. We really need a grocery store this side

  6. Ted Salmons says:

    Glad to hear that. You never know when you’re shopping for a 9/16″ socket and the urge for some chips and dip might kick in. Seriously the locals have stated their need for a grocery store for years. Now it will be time to see if they can support one.

  7. Gothic Albany says:

    This is a piece of good news. I do not know anyhting about the grocery store, but the fact that it is IGA memeber is a very good sign. And welcome back ACE! While we will still have to go to Benton County for a good hardware store, at least it we will not have to drive all the way to Corvallis (as much as I like the TrueValue there).

  8. LaMont Matthews says:

    This the same as the conversion of the defunct Rays store in Redmond. Seems to be succeeding there. Getting an Ace is a real bonus.

  9. Richard Vannice says:

    HOORAY!!!!!!! The hardware store along with the grocery will be a welcome addition. It’s nice to know that there are still those who are willing to take a chance.

  10. GregB says:

    Great news. Thanks Hasso.

  11. Gwenna bodenschatz says:

    I am very interested in seeking employment at this new store

  12. Tjpii says:

    So long as they don’t try to emulate “Rip-Off Rays” I’ll shop there. If they simply see N Albany as a cash cow to suck dry with higher prices then I’ll wait to see them shutter and give another satisfied nod.

  13. Barb Schelp says:

    After the Albany store is ready how about considering a similar grocery/hardware store in South Corvallis. The need is there and the area residents would welcome and support it.

  14. Andrea says:

    Hooray!!

  15. Marsha Nierenberg says:

    This is fantastic news for North Albany. Having a grocery store here is such a needed service for the community. Can’t wait for it to become a reality.
    Thank you!

  16. Tim Siddiqui says:

    Downtown Albany people, Monteith and Hackleman district residents must learn to cross the river to shop. North Albany alone could never support a regular size grocery store on its own.

    • Jr says:

      Are you sure about that? I see tons of traffic every day. Either coming or going. To the point where you have to wait for a space to park at Jacksons. Plus you can buy tools? Might be a win, but that’s just me being optimistic about a grocery store that sells tools. All of this coming from a guy who likes to eat organic. I wonder if they will carry grass fed ground beef and butter…

    • Kyle says:

      It’s a different dynamic than it was three years ago. North Albany has welcomed a credit union, some additional healthcare facilities, assisted living/retirement community, and entirely new built neighborhoods (and continuing). I’m confident this will be a successful implant. Even if Ray’s were able to have survived this long, it may have been sustainable now.

    • Shane says:

      I disagree, if the pricing is reasonable the North Albany population is more than enough to support the store.

    • Eric Skinner says:

      Thanks, Hasso, for the news. I have lived in NA for a long time now. We have over 8K residents. That should be plenty to support a grocery store. Ray’s failed because their prices were inflated. An IGA is typically more attuned to the local needs and they likely know what killed Ray’s and shouldn’t make the same mistakes. Not sure about the viability of a hardware store.

  17. Marilyn says:

    Does not sound like it will be what we really need here. I am disappointed we could not attract full-on grocery. This sounds like a glorified convenience store.

    • From what understand, it doesn’t sound like that at all. It will have a deli, a bakery, and the regular supermarket sections such as produce and meat. (hh)

    • Shane says:

      Not sure where you come up with that? Look up the other stores they are affiliated with. Look great to me. Some people will complain no matter what though.

    • Jerry Boydston says:

      This company has done this in many cities. Google the Myers group. It’s an IGA so prices should be good and it’s gonna save a lot of time a gas for the ever growing population in N Albany.

  18. CMcCreedy says:

    Good prices=good business. Hopeful!

  19. EMH says:

    Any word on a pharmacy? If one is included it will make it easy to avoid the cross-town trips that end up at larger groceries.

  20. Steve says:

    You have my business.

  21. centrist says:

    Guessing that some local proponents of growth probably had a hand in recruiting. Thanks whoever you are.
    The hardware/grocery is a successful combination in a few areas around the greater west. Been in a few while touring in the RV

  22. John Hartman says:

    Hasso, you have touched a nerve with your grocery hijinks. Perhaps a stint in economic development would be in your future.

  23. @CorvalliSteve says:

    So the Albany-Corvallis communities will again have an IGA and an ACE… is this a safe assumption?
    Will the retailer’s employees be organized?

  24. Sceptical says:

    These are nice rumors but will believe it when it really happens! N Albany needs a decent grocery store that had normal prices. Hope this works. I like Ace hardware!

  25. Linda Warner says:

    If true, I hope this firm does the same with all the vacant Ray’s stores

  26. Shawn Dawson says:

    Will be glad to have an ACE hardware back in town. Am a bit concerned though, now that Lowes is up and running, that there may not be enough business. If it was just Home Depot across the freeway, it would make sense. But from downtown Albany to Lowes is a short run, and they have given me pretty good service on all the trips I have made. Wish them luck, but they will have strong competition.

    • Jerry Boydston says:

      I agree but Lowes’s is still the big box store and if I need just a few small items then a nearby hardware option will be great. Especially if the employees stick around more than a week or two! And a decent grocery will be welcome for sure.

 

 
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