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Building off success

The momentum of Bridgeport Village continues with retail development just across the street
by: Jaime Valdez, BUILDING ON SUCCESS — Construction crews from Whitaker/Ellis Concrete Company lay down concrete foundations for the five-building shopping complex, The Pointe at Bridgeport, just across the street from Bridgeport Village.

The momentum of Bridgeport Village continues with retail development just across the street

By JENNIFER CLAMPET

Of The Times

TUALATIN - The buzz in the local development community is that the area by Bridgeport Village is 'hot.'

Some say it's the location - the visibility that a business has being perched on a street corner so close to Interstate 5.

Others say it's the demographics - tucked into the southwest corner of the metro scene amid budding suburban communities.

But most will admit that the 500,000-square-foot, multi-million dollar shopping complex across the street is likely the deciding factor that has caused bidding wars for land and a scramble of retail development in north Tualatin.

'A mad flurry of acquisitions' was the way Tualatin Community Development Director Doug Rux described the scene following the construction of the upscale shopping complex. The large anchor for retail has created its own gravitational pull, and developers weren't slow in jumping into orbit.

Across the street from Bridgeport's Wild Oats, another organic grocery chain, Whole Foods, is expected to open in the late fall.

Just to the east, several stores in The Pointe at Bridgeport have plans to open before this year's holiday season. The Pointe is expected to be a 50,000-square-foot retail and 40,000-square-foot office complex near the corner of Southwest Boones Ferry and Bridgeport roads.

And still farther away along Southwest Lower Boones Ferry Road, Oregon Pacific Capitol Management was developing what would have been called Bridgeport Commons, another retail shopping center, but plans have changed. One lot, which is next door to a former mobile-home trailer park, is expected to have a Claim Jumper restaurant open in the fall of 2007. And instead of a 60,000-square-foot retail outlet next door, the Bridgeport Commons LLC has reportedly sold the neighboring site to a medical provider that plans to construct 80,000 square feet of medical office space, said Julie Leuvrey, a principal at Bridgeport Commons LLC.

And rumors abound in the development world about other small properties along Southwest Lower Boones Ferry Road that are currently home to Schneider Trucking, a gas station and a small hotel.

But the city has received no official word about development on those properties. Officials have only heard whispers that something may be coming.

More concrete are the plans for the 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods store and The Pointe project.

As workers busily climbed on top of the Whole Foods building last week, construction crews were pouring cement for the foundations of the five-building complex at The Pointe.

And while the walls haven't even been erected on the site, about 70 percent of The Pointe's tenant space has already been committed to by interested businesses, said development partner Tom Kemper. The Pointe is expected to have 15 to 20 tenants.

Kemper and Bruce Wood of Foundation Real Estate Development and Jim Dix and Candace Gray of Gray and Associates are partners on The Pointe project.

Wood described their partnership as 'the perfect storm of background and skill sets.' Unlike Parkland Development, which owns and has owned the land Whole Foods is building on for more than 10 years, The Pointe group had to compete for property to develop.

'A lot of people wanted to redevelop that site,' Wood noted.

In June 2005, just one month after Bridgeport Village opened, the partners closed the deal on the purchase of the Shiloh Inn property and combined it with the remnants of the Village Inn parcel. Washington County has the entire 3.2 acres listed as having a market value of more than $2 million.

Last week Kemper, Wood and Dix stood on a cement slab on the east side of the project. The trio had just finished a lengthy meeting in one of the site trailers.

Wearing their hard hats, the men grinned as they looked at their rock- and dust-covered site and back over to the finished buildings of Bridgeport Village.

As a developer Wood had played a part in the creation of Bridgeport Village, and once the project was near completion, Wood said he knew that the shopping center would forever change the character of the land in north Tualatin.

'I always thought that this was going to be something very special,' he added.