New Seasons confirms its in shopping centers master plan

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - New Seasons Market provided a rendering of its newest location in the Nyberg Rivers development. The market is slated to open in fall 2014.New Seasons Market is among the list of retailers Tualatin can expect in the proposed Nyberg Rivers development, where a shuttered Kmart and a handful of stores currently sit.

The announcement came the day after CenterCal Properties discussed its master plan for its Nyberg River development with the Tualatin City Council. In August, CenterCal signed a 75-year lease on the more than 38-acre parcel, with about 307,000 square feet zoned for retail and restaurant space, and nearly nine acres set aside as landscape area.

New Seasons leaders said the company could open a more than 33,000-square-foot location on Nyberg Road as early as fall 2014, and expects to offer 150 new full- and part-time positions in the store.

The master plan shows an approximately 30,000-square-foot new building between the structure earmarked as a Cabela's outdoor retailer and the current Michael’s store, which will remain in its location as part of a long-term lease agreement with the Nyberg family, the property’s owners.

The City Council held a more than three-hour meeting with public comment to determine whether the plans met the city’s goals for the Central Urban Renewal District.

The plan had also been reviewed by neighborhood groups, the city’s Architectural Review Board and Tualatin’s Parks Advisory Committee.

CenterCal proposes demolishing only three existing structures: The building that used to house Kmart, as well as Jiggles Strip Club and Wendy’s restaurant, which will be relocated on the site under the terms of its lease agreement.

Seven additional buildings would be constructed, including a new Cabela’s outdoor retail store, slated to sit on the former Kmart site.

CenterCal is reportedly working around 20 operating leases, which retailers hold with the Nybergs.

City staff found that the master plan was largely consistent with the goals of the Central Urban Renewal District overall, but set a few conditions for development. The City Council was asked to approve or deny the city’s conditions before the master plan could be finalized.

Conditions for approval

The city took issue with the idea of an extra drive-thru structure, bringing the total number of drive-thrus at Nyberg Rivers to five, including a Wendy’s restaurant and three banks.

“The staff analysis does not find an additional drive-thru to be consistent with a pedestrian-oriented development that's an extension of downtown,” planning manager Aquilla Hurd-Ravich told the council.

The city also asked the applicant to widen a proposed walkway that would run behind many of the retailers. Although CenterCal had drafted plans for a walkway six feet in width, with planters four feet wide and an on-street bike line, the city pushed for an unobstructed walkway that would be 12 feet wide.

The city requested a secondary entrance to the development’s anchor store, an approximately 110,000-square-foot Cabela’s location. The developer argued against the request, specifying safety concerns and the store’s branded customer experience, which calls for a large central entry point.

The city also expressed concern that not enough conifer trees would be present in the development.

“These are characteristic of Tualatin,” Hurd-Ravich said. “We’ve requested more than they’ve proposed be planted.”

During later discussion, councilors asked for a greater preservation of heritage trees, as well as trees viewed as iconic.

Safe planning

CenterCal chief executive officer Fred Bruning described Nyberg Rivers to the council as "sort of the Golidlocks — it's a combination of a neighborhood center and a bit of a regional center, with one of our key anchors being Cabela's."

Bruning also emphasized the development’s focus on pedestrian safety.

“At no point would a consumer have to go more than two car lengths for a protected sidewalk,” he said.

Bruning has long emphasized that the development would add little more than 1,000 square feet of retail space, and that Nyberg Rivers would not have a negative traffic impact. He explained Monday evening that CenterCal would make significant upgrades to Nyberg Road as it bordered the development.

“We’re expanding the width (for) pedestrian activity there, and creating a bike lane,” he said.

In addition, the plan calls for traffic signal upgrade.

The city has been considering whether to require a re-alignment of Seneca Road, which is outlined in the recently updated Transportation System Plan. Such a project would effectively bisect City Council chambers and require that the facility would be moved.

“If the city decides that's what they want to do, we support that 100 percent,” Bruning said.

The council will continue discussions about master plan conditions during a meeting on Aug. 7.

The city has until Sept. 19 to make a decision on the master plan.

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