By Linda Seesz, Communications
The City of University Place is pleased to announce that at its Nov. 4 Council Meeting the City Council unanimously approved a Purchase and Development Agreement with Verus Partners, LLC for the U.P. Town Center. The project proposed by Verus Partners is a phased development that will begin on the northernmost portion of Town Center and continue all along the east side of Bridgeport Way, and a portion of the west side. Verus Partners plans to begin their development immediately with a Whole Foods Market on Lot 7, which both they and Whole Foods expect to complete and be open for business in March 2015.
Whole Foods is the world’s first certified organic grocer with over 300 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods was sought as a use in the very beginning of the Town Center project, and as the only Whole Foods in Pierce County and beyond in South Puget Sound, the University Place store will have a broad regional draw and be a unique addition to food stores in the region. This will transform Town Center into a regional destination, bringing substantial economic development to University Place and directly fulfilling the City’s vision for the Town Center project.
“This is a transformative project for our Town Center,” stated Mayor Ken Grassi. “We anticipate that this project will be a catalyst for redevelopment and economic growth throughout our community.”
The Verus project to construct Whole Foods on Lot 7, entailing more than $10 million in private investment, is scheduled to begin right away. The phases on Lots 4, 3 and 11 will likely follow next. Lots 1 and 2 are anticipated to be the last phases. The Purchase and Development Agreement allows Verus one year to commence construction of Whole Foods. Each additional phase on which Verus commences construction extends the Agreement by six additional months, for a possible outside total of three years and six months.
Verus Partners, LLC is a real estate development and investment firm with offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Bellevue, Washington. The company acquires and develops retail and office properties throughout the western United States. Verus was formed in June 2005 by former Univest partner John Maus and Northwest Retail Partners founder Rob Andrews. The partners have longstanding relationships with Whole Foods, Nordstrom Rack, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michaels, Sears, PetsMart, and a number of other major national retailers.
Verus currently has projects under development in Washington, Arizona and Texas, including the Kohl’s-anchored Rainierview Market Place in Puyallup. The principals have completed projects in all of the above states as well as Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, New Mexico and California. Regarding office properties, Verus principals have completed or acquired more than 700,000 square feet of office projects.
For more information about the Town Center project or the City of University Place visit www.CityofUP.com.