Jamba Juice, Party City open in center
by: John Klicker, From left, Jasao Longoria,  10, and his brother, Antonio, 5, enjoy juice drinks at Jamba Juice, as a line of customers wait Saturday, Dec. 22. The store opened in the Wood Village Town Center Dec. 20.

Business opportunities are gathering momentum at the Wood Village Town Center as real estate agents have signed deals with several new businesses scheduled to make their East County debuts.

The shopping center, located at the corner of Northeast Glisan Street and Northeast 223rd Avenue, is a mixed-use development anchored by Fred Meyer, Kohl's department store and Lowe's Home Improvement. Other businesses include Carl's Jr., Starbucks Coffee, Backyard Bird Shop and Sargo's Subs.

The newest tenant, Jamba Juice, which specializes in smoothies, juices and snacks, opened Thursday, Dec. 20. Party City, a discount party goods chain, plans to open its store in January.

But real estate agents are still trying to fill up several retail spaces that vary between 1,200 and 7,000 square feet at the center, which opened in 2001. The center also has four undeveloped sites meant for new construction that vary from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.

In total, the center has almost 500,000 square feet of retail space, said Gary Surgeon, a broker with Commercial Realty Advisors Northwest.

Surgeon said Desert Sun Tanning Salons and Play N Trade signed deals to open retail locations in the center next year, while Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plans to build in front of Lowe's and El Pollo Loco, a fast-food restaurant chain, will start construction on its first East County location at the site in spring 2008.

'The momentum seems to be gearing up, and we have more activity out there now,' he said, noting that several of the businesses such as Starbucks, Lowe's and Kohl's have reported much financial success since they opened.

Jamba Juice, located in the southeast part of the center by Wireless Toyz, is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, said General Manager Craig Brandmeier. It is always accepting job applications, he said.

The company, based in Emeryville, Calif., owns or franchises more than 640 locations in 21 states, Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas, according to the company's Web site.

Party City's stock includes holiday decorations, costumes, balloons and other party accessories, is scheduled to open its location between AAA and Backyard Bird Shop.

The New Jersey-based company has more than 750 stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, according to the company's Web site.

Surgeon said he is trying to attract a bank, a restaurant and a possible bookstore to round out the center's mixed uses, although so far the offers have been turned down.

'We definitely need more tenants out there,' Surgeon said. 'We have vacancies, and it's just a challenge to get those filled up.'

Wood Village City Administrator Sheila Ritz said the town center is a good place to open a business because of its location and its proximity to Interstate 84.

The city has suggested the names of local and national businesses that could open in the center such as a sit-down breakfast restaurant, she said.

'We've been making suggestions of things we'd like to see get in there,' Ritz said.

The town center is owned by Chicago-based M and J Wilkow Properties Inc., which purchased it from GM Realty Advisors in July 2007 for $34.9 million.

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