Big 5 applies to city

Big 5 Sporting Goods may be opening a new store in Oak Harbor’s Oak Tree Village on Highway 20 by September.

Steve Powers, the city’s Development Services director, said the city has received a site plan application for a 10,000-square-foot building on the vacant Highway 20 lot just south of Jiffy Lube and west of the medical office building in the Oak Tree Village.

Powers said he’s heard that Big 5 has been interested in the Oak Harbor market for some time, but this is the first time the large sporting goods retailer has actually filed an application with the city. A site plan application is the first step in a 30-day-or-so application process.

Big 5 Sporting Goods is the leading sporting goods retailer in the western United States, presently operating 261 stores in nine states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The contractor for the building project is Realtor Specialty Ventures Three, LLC, out of Sherwood, Oregon.

Powers said the prospective Big 5 lot is already zoned “highway corridor commercial,” so no zoning changes will be needed.

The new building won’t result in any changes needed on the highway. Powers said drivers will be able to access the store from the Highway 20 and Cabot Drive intersection or from the right-turn-only driveway next to Jiffy Lube.

A spokesman from the Big 5 corporate office didn’t return phone calls.

If a Big 5 is built, it will be the first large retailer to come into the city since Albertson’s grocery store was built near Wal-Mart two years ago.

Currently, the nearest Big 5 to Oak Harbor is in Burlington.

Big 5’s most likely competition in the city, Ace Hardware, recently expanded.

Powers said the Big 5 project leaves one large, undeveloped chunk of commercial land on Highway 20 in the city. The Noorlag property, located north of Discount Party Store, is still available for developers.

Big 5 spokesman Rick Gridley said from his Los Angeles office Friday that project details are scant at this point, but “when it opens up it’ll suit your needs and fit right in -- I guarantee it.”

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