Home Depot is next up

POULSBO — Although retail giant Wal-Mart remains far ahead of other developers at Olhava, The Home Depot joined the race in earnest Wednesday.

The hardware superstore received its permits earlier in the week after paying $239,000 in traffic impact fees and immediately began construction.

“Things have been going great and we really appreciate the welcome we’ve received from the city,” said The Home Depot public relations manager Kathryn Gallagher.

The new store will feature a 102,000-square-foot building and a 38,000 square-foot garden center. It is scheduled to open its doors on Jan. 26, 2006, Gallagher said.

Unlike Wal-Mart, which was met with strong opposition from local residents, The Home Depot has not experienced any problems in that respect, she said.

“We really try to blend into the community and make sure our architecture matches with the existing style,” she explained.

The Home Depot already completed one community service project at Raab Park in June and Gallagher said residents can expect more of the same once the store opens.

“We really try to get involved in the community and work with volunteer groups like the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA among others,” she added.

While The Home Depot also has stores in Silverdale, Sequim and Gig Harbor, those businesses should receive a positive effect from the opening of the Poulsbo location, Gallagher said, adding: “If you see a store being built real close to another one, it means that there is a good demand in the area.”

“Opening another store allows us to focus on customer service and be more available to our customers,” she said.

The Olhava store will have all of the features The Home Depot customers have come to expect, plus tool rental, which currently is available in only about 75 percent of its stores, Gallagher said.

The superstore is considered the second anchor tenant in the development with 130,500-square-feet of space, which is second only to Wal-Mart, Poulsbo Associate Planner Linda Mueller noted.

Other potential businesses in Olhava could include Jiffy Lube, Harborstone Bank and First Federal Credit Union. However, those suitors are waiting for the final short platting of the development to be approved.

“Once the final short plat is completed, we expect to see a dramatic increase in the amount of activity in Olhava,” she said. “Wal-Mart and Home Depot were just the first two to get started.”

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