New grocery store, pizza joint planned for Oak Harbor

A new shopping center being constructed on the south end of Oak Harbor will bring another grocery store, pizza place and Starbucks drive-through to the community.

The development will also have room for two additional retail businesses, as yet unnamed.

The developer submitted an application to the city about a year and four months ago for the proposed Whidbey Island Place, a small shopping center on State Highway 20 between 7-Eleven and Whidbey Island Bank. The city granted the necessary permits many months ago, but it wasn’t until recently that construction started moving forward.

The project has changed since the original submittal, which outlined plans for three buildings. Rumors about a hamburger-and-beer joint aren’t coming to fruition.

Architectural drawings show that the Grocery Outlet will be in the larger of two buildings. The drawings for the 20,000-square-foot facility show a floor plan similar to the other four grocery stores in Oak Harbor — including the Navy’s commissary — but with an area for “bargains and promotions.”

The company’s website describes it as “the nation’s largest extreme value retailer,” with 300 stores nationwide.

The website states that company’s buyers shop the world, “travelling thousands of miles each year to find the most thrilling deals on brand-name groceries. Whether it’s through packaging changes, surplus inventory or product overruns, our buyers source it all.”

Grocery Outlet has long eyed Oak Harbor as a possible place for a new store, most recently looking at the former Kmart building, according to a city official.

The second building will be 10,000 square feet; one of the tenants planned for the building is MOD Pizza, a “superfast pizza experience” that began in Seattle. The company’s website explains that customers can choose from more than 30 different toppings and the price stays the same no matter the number of toppings.

The Starbucks store on Highway 20 will move across the street to Whidbey Island Place and gain a drive-through.

The shopping center will have entrances off the highway and Bayshore Drive.

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