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Hank's to remain undeveloped -- for now

Holland Partner Group ends plans to develop the vacant grocer site

TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Hanks supermarket was in business for eight decades before closing its doors last year. Redevelopment for the site was expected to be apartments, but a real estate firm working with the city to develop the site recently backed out of those plans.It looks like plans to develop the former Hank's Thriftway supermarket property will not bear fruit after all.

Hanks, a longtime grocery store in central Hillsboro, closed last year after 80 years in business.

City officials have said that the site’s redevelopment is important to downtown Hillsboro's future.

"Housing is a critical ingredient for downtown's growth," city spokesman Patrick Preston told Pamplin Media Group in February. "The development of Hank's property can be a game-changer for downtown Hillsboro, and a catalyst for additional investment in the historic downtown area and the health and education district."

City staff and representatives from Holland Partner Group were deep in discussion over the site's future earlier this year, but during a Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce downtown business meeting Tuesday morning, word spread that the deal was no more.

"The newest update is that Holland has indicated that it will not pursue development based on the numbers," Preston said on Tuesday. "The Hank’s property remains for sale by the existing owners, and we understand that the interest expressed by Holland partners earlier this year in the Hank’s site will not lead to a development."

The City Council approved a plan last year to make an offer toward purchasing the property, but Hering Investments LLC, which owns the Hanks property, did not accept.

The city then began working with Vancouver-based real estate company Holland Partners, which began exchanging emails with city Planning Director Colin Cooper to discuss "opportunities" for the site.

On Tuesday, however, Holland's Development Director Brenner Daniels confirmed that catalyst would need to be inspired by a different company.

"We decided not to move forward for multiple reasons," he said, "construction costs being a big one."

Although Tokola Properties' highly successful 4thMain apartment building is just around the corner from the Hank's site, Daniels said the market for development is still untested and that no other properties in the area are being studied by Holland at this time.

Holland previously oversaw the construction of six other apartment projects in Hillsboro, and is currently building a 252-unit complex in Tigard on Scholls Ferry Road.

Preston said that the city remains committed to working with any developers that have an interest in redeveloping the site.

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