Bi-Mart moving forward with building upgrades


A full-on renovation of the old Rite-Aid building along Myrtle Street in Aberdeen to turn it into a new Bi-Mart is well under way, with several permits already approved by the City of Aberdeen.

Permits have been issued to fix the sprinkler system, put a new roof on the building and work on the building’s overall structure. Altogether, Bi-Mart has invested $748,558 into the new structure, according to the permits on record at Aberdeen City Hall. The building is located at 310 Myrtle Street next to the Grocery Outlet and was vacated when Rite-Aid moved to its new location on the Hoquiam side of Myrtle Street.

Bi-Mart has already started interviewing employees and placed newspaper ads looking for applicants.

Aberdeen Building Inspector Bob Waite said that he’s still waiting on one more permit application from either the contractor or the company that features the aisle widths and general layout of the store.

“I’m hoping to get that application here by the end of March,” Waite said. “The company was hoping to be open by May, but I’m not sure if they can meet that timeline.”

By the time the last permit is approved, Waite said it’s entirely possible the store will have put $1 million into the building, especially considering new fixtures that will go inside of it. That last permit is critical, Waite said, so that the city can determine that racks are the proper size and don’t interfere with the store’s sprinkler system.

The permits for the store show that footprint of the 43,250-square-foot building, which was constructed in 1969, will remain the same. No expansions have been proposed.

The permit for the building’s structure says the company is investing $450,000 into the plumbing, HVAC system and the overall construction, which includes a new loading dock area, new frames, better exterior walls and an improved stockroom. The contractor is Ordell Construction of Springfield, Ore.

The sprinkler system cost $24,942, a requirement given the general improvements being done to the building, Waite said.

Advanced Heating & Air installed a new heat pump and did duct work valued at $54,000. Evergreen Roofing was contracted to put on a new roof valued at $219,616.

The Bi-Mart Corp. of Eugene, Ore., is listed as having purchased the building and land 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 building.

Bi-Mart has 73 stores in Oregon, Idaho and Washington, but the Aberdeen store would be only the second store west of the Cascades — the other is 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.

AARON’S

Also, this week, a Portland-area franchise owner, Aaron’s sales and lease company, submitted building plans to build an 8,000-square-foot store in Aberdeen, across from the Olympic Gateway Mall. The company announced in September it would be coming to the Harbor.

The site is located at the old restaurant building at 1212 E. Wishkah adjacent to Starbucks, which was demolished last year.

A for lease sign is out front because the property owner is looking for a smaller store to adjoin the Aaron’s building.