Bi-Mart discount store purchases vacant Rite-Aid building in Aberdeen

Oregon-based Bi-Mart plans to expand into Aberdeen and launch one of its discount membership stores in the facility recently vacated by the re-located Rite-Aid in Hoquiam.

Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson confirmed the city had turned the water on in the building under the Bi-Mart name and he was told the store likely will open in April.

“As far as how many employees they will have, I’m not sure,” Simpson said, adding he was happy to see a vacant building purchased by a new owner.

The Bi-Mart Corp. of Eugene, Ore., is listed as having purchased the building and land at 310 Myrtle St. for $1.075 million on Dec. 10, according to records on file with the Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office. It was last appraised in 2009 at $526,350 for the land and $597,000 for the 43,250-square-foot building, which was constructed in 1969.

Bi-Mart has 73 stores in Oregon, Idaho and Washington, but the Aberdeen store would be the first store west of the Cascades, with the exception of a store in Vancouver, Wash. It is an employee-owned company that specializes in discounted items. Bi-Mart’s first store opened in Yakima in 1955, and the company moved its headquarters to Eugene in the early 1960s after opening its second store there.

Customers receive discounts by paying a one-time fee of $5 that covers all family members living at home. Each store deals mainly in so-called hard goods in departments such as pharmacy, photo/sound, housewares, sporting goods, automotive, hardware, health and beauty, toys, clothing/shoes, beer/wine and food, according to the company’s web site.

Company officials yesterday did not return phone calls or respond to an email about the Aberdeen plans.

The mayor said Bi-Mart could signal a new wave of growth and business expansion in the area, which has suffered effects of the recession more than some counties in the state.

“We’ve had numerous organizations down here looking that we have never had looking before,” Simpson said. “It’s all positive.”