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Home Depot may round out Olhava anchor tenants

POULSBO — First it was Wal-Mart.

The next retailer in line to possibly become the second and final anchor tenant at the Olhava property is Home Depot, First Western Investments President Mark Zenger confirmed this week.

Although no deal has yet been inked, Home Depot is in negotiations to be the second major retailer to join 216-acre development’s retail corridor — College Marketplace, which the southern end of the Olhava property in the northwest quadrant of Poulsbo was recently named.

“We’d been trying to decide on something to call it and everybody knows where the college is, so we thought this way everybody would know where we were talking about,” Zenger said of the new moniker.

Plans for College Marketplace call for two large, anchor tenants and a host of smaller companies. A Wal-Mart is planned for the first of those two retailers and Zenger said he expects a deal with Home Depot will be finalized soon. He added that once that announcement is officially made, he expects other smaller tenants to come out of the woodwork.

“We don’t have anybody else on the line as far as I know. I think they’re all waiting to see who the anchors will be,” Zenger said.

Construction on the 150,000-square-foot first phase of the Wal-Mart was planned to begin in September, however, that is still being held up in the appeals process. Local non-profit Citizens to Stop Wal-Mart in Poulsbo filed an appeal of the Olhava site 4A master plan and associated environmental documents in May after it was announced a Wal-Mart planned to locate there. Those appeals were denied by the Poulsbo City Council in June.

In September, yet another appeal was filed by three local individuals regarding the site 4A stormwater permit. Though the stormwater permit has been approved for the entire Olhava site, a new permit is required for each individual site as well. Zenger said until a site stormwater permit is received, construction at the Wal-Mart site is on hold.

“So, now we’re trying to figure out how to get there,” Zenger said. “These appeal processes can take a long time.”

Zenger said in the meantime, work on infrastructure like roads and utilities at the Olhava site in general continues to move forward. He said the majority of the site has basically been shut down for the winter but weather-permitting, he hopes infrastructure work will be completed by the end of November.

The nearly-complete Olympic College branch campus at the site is waiting on the work to be able to start moving in professors and classes.

“The college has set a Jan. 5 start date so we’d better be ready by then,” Zenger said with a chuckle.

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