The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

February 5, 2009

An Early Look at the New Redmond Center

Filed under: Redmond, shopping — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 7:52 pm

Update 3/17/09:  An update on construction (or more accurately, demolition) work at the site can be found at this post:

It seems that I’m not the only person who noticed the sudden disappearance of the Pizza Hut that spent thirty years sitting in front of Redmond Center, and the former physical therapist’s office/Payless Shoe store next door.  As I blogged about last week, construction has now begun on a major redevelopment of the Eastern  half of Redmond Center, which will completely replace a portion of the center originally constructed in 1965 with newly constructed buildings and add a new larger building with space for 5 businesses along Redmond Way.  Now, thanks to Rick Driftmier of The Driftmier Architects and with the generous permission of Nelson Legacy Group (the locally-based owner of the Redmond Center property,) I have been able to find out some new details regarding the redevelopment of Redmond Center, and what Redmond can expect from  the upgraded shopping center.

Over in the comments on the previous post, Mr. Driftmier has posted the following news release regarding the Redmond Center construction:

Construction started on Redmond Center

The remodel of Redmond Center will expand the shopping center and bring an upscale look to the Nelson Legacy Group property. Three buildings on the eastern portion of the site, along 160th Avenue NE and NE Redmond Way, are being demolished. A fourth building is being updated for occupancy to house an integrated pharmacy and another tenant. Nelson Legacy Group has found new spaces for all but one of the existing tenants in either Redmond Center or in other Nelson properties. The Nelsons are working to find a new location for the one remaining tenant.

The design by The Driftmier Architects of Redmond includes two new retail buildings totaling about 30,000 SF of retail restaurant space. The building along Redmond Way will house two new restaurants, a bank and other tenants. The other building on 160thwill bring a specialty grocery store to the center and provide for two more tenants. The first building is expected to open in early fall ‘09, withthe other following a month later.

The Driftmier Architects has received demolition and construction permits for the projects. Woodman Construction of Bellevue has started work on the expansion to the center.

To learn more and see views of the new buildings go to:

In further correspondence by e-mail he has also given me permission to repost the renderings available on his site, and some further information on the current Redmond Center tenants being displaced by this redevelopment.

As mentioned in the previous post, Niko Teriyaki (which has occupied Redmond Center for thirteen years) will be moving to a new location as part of this move.  It turns out that they will be one of the two restaurants in the building on Redmond Way (no information on the other one is available at this time.)  At this time, I have no information on where any of the other soon-to-be-displaced businesses in this section of Redmond Center will be relocated to (unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with the other properties owned by Nelson Legacy Group within Redmond,) but it sounds like some of them shouldn’t be moving far.  There is some information that cannot currently be shared due to regulations regarding publically traded companies, but I will be sure to update this if any more information does become available.

Perhaps of more interest is what will be coming to the updated Redmond Center.  According to the site plan on the City of Redmond website, there will be five retail spaces in the new building along Redmond Way, and in addition to the two restaurants there will be a bank, and two other retail spaces for which no specific use has been specified at this time.  Based on the rendering above (this is looking roughly Southward from the location of the QFC) it looks like the bank branch will be at the far end at the corner of 160th and Redmond Way. The small structure at the end looks like it could be a small alcove for an ATM or something similar, but it looks too small to be a drive-thru.  It also appears that this building should be going up fairly quickly, since occupancy is expected by late Summer or early Fall of this year.  Demolition and construction of the other building should be beginning soon, as completion of that construction is expected a month later.

Back in the main shopping center, construction has been underway on the Lakeside Drug / Pharmaca store for some time now.  One detail that I missed until seeing the architectural renderings is that the Pharmaca store has actually reduced its size by half in the process of remodeling, and the space that has been vacated will become another store (as shown on the rendering at the top of the post.)  The future occupant of that store is currently unknown.  What I suspect will be of more interest to most people reading this is what’s over in the corner:

It appears that most of the newly constructed space in the center itself will be occupied by a brand new Trader Joe’s store, a prospect that will surely excite Redmond’s budget-minded foodies.  There are already Trader Joe’s stores in Kirkland (at Totem Lake Mall) and in Bellevue (on 156th a few blocks northof Crossroads)  but from downtown Redmond those stores are both rather distant.  If I’m in the area I might stop in on occasion for a few things (I have to admit a certain weakness for their dark chocolate covered Macadamia nuts) but never find myself going out of my way to shop there.

Of course, with Trader Joe’s moving into Redmond Center, this presents a rather odd scenario:  Two grocery stores in one shopping center.  The QFC at Redmond Center is already a bit of an oddity as is, since it is located a mere three blocks away from another QFC store over at Bella Bottega (which originally opened as an Olson’s but was converted to a QFC when the two chains merged in 1995.)  Both of these QFC stores have been operating simultaneously for nearly fourteen years now, so obviously this arrangement works out, but    Having two grocery stores in one shopping center is nothing new (in fact, in some areas it was fairly common practice up until the 1960s,) but nowit is incredibly rare for a second grocery store to be added to a center with an existing store.  Granted, QFC and Trader Joes will not be directly competing with each other (Trader Joe’s has a much smaller store format and focuses on carrying its own store-brand merchandise rather than mainstream grocery products,) but it will be interesting to see just what kind of effect that Trader Joe’s will have on the QFC store.  In addition to these, there are a couple of other architectural renderings of the project available on the Driftmier Architects website if you would like to see the overall site and the other retail space (currently of unknown use) that will be behind the Trader Joe’s store. 

Once again, I would like to thank Rick Driftmier and Nelson Legacy Group for allowing me to use these renderings and find out more about what is going on here.  In the meantime, I will be sure to keep an eye on the construction here and let you know if I find out any new information.  With all the big property management groups and commercial real estate brokers out there, it’s nice to see someone keeping things local for a change…


  1. YAY- a Trader Joe’s! I don’t think I’ll miss the Pizza Hut so much anymore.

    Anymore news on the Redmond Costco?

    (formerly BelleBoo&Amismum on the dis)

    Comment by Jessica — February 9, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  2. Aside from a “no comment” from Costco in response to an inquiry I made, I haven’t heard much. As far as I know, construction work would be starting (at least on the roads and utilities) sometime in late March or early April.

    I don’t think I’ll miss the Pizza Hut all that much either (I don’t think I had been there in years, and there’s still one in Totem Lake if I ever wanted the stuff that badly,) but I do have to say the place looks a bit odd without it. Perhaps once the new building is in place it’ll look better. Mostly I’m just glad that Niko Teriyaki will still be around.

    Comment by Brian Lutz — February 11, 2009 @ 12:15 am

  3. Interesting, thanks!

    Comment by pamelamama — March 7, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  4. Thanks for the news – I was wondering where Niko had gone!

    FWIW, Vitamin Life moved into the second half of what was Lakeside Drugs, the hairdressers moved to somewhere else in Redmond, and I’m not sure of what happened to the barbers…

    Comment by Randy — March 16, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

    • I’ve got another update coming up on this shortly. The barber shop moved across the street into the Redmond Mall, and HairFX is in a temporary location at Redmond Shopping Square (which itself will soon apparently be falling to the wrecking ball at some point in the not-too-distant future.) Niko Teriyaki didn’t relocate to a temporary location, and will be reopening in their new location when it is completed (it sounds like they’re shooting for late July at this point, which means the new stuff should be going up pretty fast.)

      Comment by Brian Lutz — March 16, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

  5. Hooray, a closer TJ’s is a wondrous thing!

    Comment by TPK — May 15, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  6. Do you know anything about employment at the new TJs??

    Comment by Megan — July 28, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

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