Mystery grocery chain expresses interest in Blaine property

By Stefanie Donahue

Following a recent special city council  meeting, Blaine city manager Dave Wilbrecht is posed to sign a letter of intent with a mid-size grocery retailer that’s interested in building a storefront in town.

During the meeting on December 18, the Blaine City Council listened to a presentation from John Quinn, vice president of IDS Real Estate Group, who stated his client, a mid-size grocery retailer, was interested in purchasing property to build a 15,000-20,000-square foot storefront and 150 parking stalls at the former site of the Blaine Municipal Airport, also known as the Gateway Parcel.

After the presentation, the city council entered executive session for about 15 minutes before casting a 4-0 vote to authorize Wilbrecht to sign a letter of intent with the firm. Wilbrecht said the city was not informed which grocery retailer was interested in the property.

Headquartered in California with an office in Kent, IDS Real Estate Group manages 27 million square feet of commercial property for more than 1,000 tenants. According to its website, the firm is responsible for developing an upwards of $2 billion in projects and manages an estimated $75 million in tenant improvements and renovations. Trader Joe’s is the only grocery retailer listed in a partial list of clients published on the firm’s website.

Wilbrecht said IDS Real Estate Group approached the city a few months ago with the idea. The project could potentially bring 50 jobs, Quinn said. Moving forward, IDS Real Estate Group will take a closer look to determine whether or not the site is feasible for the grocery retailer to develop. The process could take a few months.

“Our only interest is to break ground for this user,” Quinn said. “I hope that we can figure something out with the city.”

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