As construction continues on Centralia Station, a Port of Centralia commissioner presented at a Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce forum at O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House Wednesday morning and provided an update on the long-awaited development.
Centralia Station is a proposed shopping center and mixed-use development with WinCo Foods planned as the anchor tenant. Once completed, it will be located just off the Mellen Street exit along Interstate 5.
WinCo Foods is a warehouse-style supermarket chain that offers bulk food items and is open 24 hours a day. At the forum, Port of Centralia Commissioner Kyle Markstrom gave a short presentation and explained the progress made so far.
Markstrom said he expects stage one of the Centralia Station project, the Yew Street extension, to be finished by this summer and for stage two to be completed by the end of the year.
He stressed that these were estimates as weather and other factors have already caused delays and could cause more.
“The first major work happened in 2019. That was when we first brought utilities to that area,” Markstrom said.
The installation of utilities was in preparation for stage one of the project, which is currently ongoing. Once stage one is completed, Yew Street will be extended south past Brotherson Road and parallel to Long Road.
An apartment complex on Brotherson Road has been vacated and once asbestos abatements are completed, the complex will be destroyed to allow for further development.
Stage two will include a dedicated ramp and turning lane extending off the I-5 Mellen Street exit. Once stage two is completed, WinCo will begin construction.
“I’m super excited. Like I said, a big reason I got involved with being a port commissioner is I wanted to see this project get done. I wanted to see WinCo come to this community. I think there’s a huge need for them and they’re very excited to be here. As soon as we get all the infrastructure started, they will be ready to finalize the agreement we have in place with them,” Markstrom said.
While there are no other tenants currently signed on to open at Centralia Station, the hope is that once WinCo is established, other businesses will follow. WinCo itself will bring business partners to start as well.
“We’ll see what ancillary tenants (WinCo) brings along. In their site plan for the piece of property they’re purchasing, there’s also going to be a 12,000-square-foot retail space and a restaurant. Their developer will fill those locations and then we will see what the interest is in the balance of Centralia Station,” Markstrom said.
Aside from the land partitioned for Centralia Station, there are other properties that could be developed in the Centralia Station area. According to Markstrom, the hope is to attract more businesses once Centralia Station is established.
Talks of the proposed WinCo have been in the works for years, and Markstrom explained there were a lot of reasons for the many delays.
“I worked really hard to try to help move the needle forward and I think it’s going to be really exciting to see now that everybody sees the flurry of activity over there and that this project really is off the ground and gonna happen, what that interest will be in and who the interested parties will be,” Markstrom said.
As for when the WinCo could finally open, Markstrom stated he could not provide any information on a specific date.
“They have their own developer, so we’re not intimately involved with what their timeline is for construction,” Markstrom said.
He added that it could be open as soon as summer of 2024, but said this date was not set in stone.
During its regular meeting last week, the port approved the second payment to Midway Underground, the contractor currently working on stage one, in the amount of $407,175.33.
This payment followed the first made earlier in January of $901,917.37.
Midway Underground, a Toledo-based construction contractor, was awarded the contract for the project on Aug. 26, 2022, for a bid of $6,116,322.03.