WinCo 1

The front of a WinCo Foods supermarket.

A decision on whether to allow WinCo Foods to build a supermarket at the site of the vacant Kmart will not be rendered for at least six weeks, and most likely longer, as the legal wrangling over the proposal has begun.

The Roseburg Planning Commission held its first hearing on the matter Monday. Representatives from WinCo Foods explained the company’s plan, which entails demolishing the old Kmart, at 2757 NW Stewart Parkway, and replacing it with a WinCo supermarket.

“As the real estate guy for WinCo, I can tell you that we’re very excited to be here tonight,” Greg Goins, vice president of real estate for WinCo, said via Zoom. “We’ve looked for an opportunity to build in Roseburg for more than 10 years.”

Goins said it is not unusual for WinCo to purchase a closed store and turn it into a WinCo supermarket. WinCo took over a former Kmart in Albany a few years ago, did the same with a ShopKo in Bend recently and is planning to do the same with a former ShopKo in Eugene, he said.

“We have spent quite a number of years looking for just the right opportunity, so when the Kmart closed we were in a position to make a deal and bring this project forward,” Goins said. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to hopefully obtain city approval to proceed with this project.”

The Kmart building covers about 88,000 square feet. The new WinCo store would be about 73,000 square feet, according to the plans submitted to the city. The store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There were two objections to the proposal submitted to the Planning Commission.

Robert and Susan Smith of Roseburg sent a complaint via email, saying they were concerned about impacts on traffic, air pollution due to increased traffic and construction noise.

Eugene attorney Sean Malone spoke on behalf of the group Safe Streets Roseburg. Malone said if allowed, the WinCo supermarket would generate traffic to the area “not seen in years, if ever.” Because of that, Malone said the group and its members were concerned about the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Malone criticized the traffic analysis conducted on behalf of WinCo, saying it was insufficient. He questioned whether the pedestrian walkways in the plans were safe and convenient, as required by city regulations.

Goins said he and the WinCo team worked closely with city staff to ensure that the project met all city regulations. He also said in some cases the project went beyond what was required by the city, such as putting in 3,000 more square feet of landscaping than was required.

The Planning Commission set up a schedule, agreed to by both WinCo and Malone, that calls for additional testimony and evidence to be submitted until April 22. The Planning Commission will then take up the matter at its next meeting, scheduled for May 3.

Once a decision is made, the Planning Commission will ask the prevailing party to prepare findings. The Planning Commission will then tentatively meet on May 17 to adopt those findings.

If the Planning Commission decision is appealed, it would come before the City Council. And if the City Council’s decision is appealed, it would go to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.

The property WinCo intends to buy covers two parcels, the Kmart site and the Big 5 Sporting Goods building, at 2655 NW Stewart Parkway. The total site covers about 9.45 acres. WinCo has said it has no plans to change the current business operations of Big 5.

WinCo is under contract to buy the property, but will not close on the deal until it receives final approval to build the supermarket at the site, Noah Fleisher, director of corporate communications for WinCo, said last week. That is typical for such developments, he said.

Once construction begins it should take about a year before the store opens, Fleisher said.

WinCo has 133 supermarkets in 11 states, including 23 in Oregon. WinCo also has a distribution center in Tri City that employs more than 50 people.

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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(9) comments

P&Z

Winco needs to be built on the other end of town. There is enough congestion in the proposed area as it is. Put in a theater, arts center, kids center, etc., anything but another grocery store within feet of one another. The only thing that is going to bring is bad competition that will surely knock out existing stores and jobs. Move it down to the south side.

Shirley D

I also think it is a stupid place to put ANOTHER (?) Grocery Store SO CLOSE to TWO other Grocery Stores ? Sherms will STILL be MY store ! Have WinCo go down to Diamond Lake Blvd instead be

and "Stay OUT of our "Home Town" market's Parking Lots. Dumb idea !

BBurner

Roseburg does not need another Grocery store especially there. Albertsons is behind, Sherms in same parking lot, Wal-Mart around corner. Trying to get out at the K-Mart lot is already congested. It's a bad corner, and wiil back up traffic to the Stewart Parkway/Edenbower light even worse than it is. I agree with the comments on taxes too.

jbhdesigns

I would like to know more about who is the group "Safe Streets Roseburg" as I can not find any information on them and why do they have an attorney out of Eugene and not a local attorney. Given the union has been behind a number of legal actions against WinCo in other locations it seems like there should be more disclosure as to who this group is. I would prefer to see WinCo come into this location then to just have an empty store that will fall into further disrepair. There are fewer and fewer businesses that would come into a store that size as more and more people shop over the internet. So for those people against WinCo coming into this location what would business would you recommend and would they really be interested. Every community is going to change over time and it is better to be part of the change in a positive way than to expect everything to just stand still and not change.

Country Craftsman

Welcome WinCo.

Lots and lots of people complain about everything. New business generate big money in taxes and are charged big money to build or even lease space in Roseburg for water, sewer, road use and many other things that can not even be imagined. More traffic, pedestrian safety, are just excuses used because people are afraid of change. Same complaint is heard when most big stores come in, remember COSTCO. Like most places traffic has increased greatly this is from population increase not from another business coming to town.

Again welcome WinCo good luck and God bless.

dejadoodoo

[thumbup] It's a great store, and I can't wait to have it in Roseburg!

P&Z

I agree. Enough of the Winco talk. We have enough stores in the area, we don't need more and definitely don't need to pay for infrastructure to accommodate something we don't need!

mworden

The City of Roseburg has a long history of providing subsidies to millionaire developers, or attempting to do so, by not requiring them to pay their fair share for street improvements, street lights or other infrastructure and utilities. The city taxpayers end up paying a few years later for the improvements and this means that neighborhoods with failing streets have to wait years longer for help.

City boosters say it's worth it to bring in new employers that will add more jobs. But there's seldom much of an increase in jobs because as new stores like Wal-Mart, Costco, Lowe's and Home Depot came in local stores both large and small ended up closing and laying off their entire staffs.

I'm not against new stores coming in and then things shaking out as customers chose where they want to spend their money. That's capitalism. But I am against subsidies to multi-million or even multi-billion dollar companies that can well afford to widen streets, build new turn lanes and put in new traffic lights, sewer and water lines, storm drainage and intersections without it harming their bottom line at all. It's not fair to the taxpayers and it's not fair to existing businesses to subsidize the million/billionaire newcomers. And Roseburg keeps doing it over and over again.

NJ

Like you, I'm interested in how many employees will be hired, how many will be hired, and how many at minimum wage, will they pull full-time shifts, and will they receive benefits. It's such a trap to give a corporation breaks when they don't give back any investment in the community of their location. Family wage, benefited jobs with programs for advancement. Otherwise, let them move on down the road.

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