Progress on leasing former Albertsons store in Poulsbo Village depends on who you ask

POULSBO — The Albertsons store at Poulsbo Village Shopping Center closed July 5, 2015. Now, there is reason to hope the space may soon become home to a new big box store.

“There’s a real interest in Poulsbo. We’re a hot little market,” said Emily Authenrieth, property and finance manager for Poulsbo Village Shopping Center. Poulsbo Village, with the exception of the Albertsons and Rite Aid sites, is owned by Laurelhurst Apartments Company, a group of Seattle-area investors.

Authenrieth said people often ask her why she has not leased the former Albertsons site after nearly two years. Albertsons and Rite Aid own their respective sites, she said.

Albertsons’ real estate division had received one bid, but turned it down, Authenrieth had been told. Now, Albertsons has received a second offer from another big box store interested in leasing the space, she said.

“It sounds like there is some serious interest,” Authenrieth said.

Scott Blankenship, who is marketing the lease of the property for Albertsons, declined to confirm or deny the report, saying only that they were interested in “finding the right deal that works for the owner, the tenant and Poulsbo Village … It’s not uncommon for big box buildings to sit vacant for a long period of time,” he explained.

Blankenship, who said he has been working with Albertsons for 20 years, is now with CB Richard Ellis Real Estate in Seattle as of about two weeks ago. Before that, he was with Wallace Properties.

The Poulsbo store is one of seven Albertsons properties available for lease across the state, he said.

“We’re open-minded to almost any financially-able tenant,” he said, while noting that Albertsons was not particularly interested in creating competition for itself.

“Poulsbo is a good market,” he said. However, he said, Poulsbo serves a neighborhood market as opposed to, say, the mall in Silverdale that serves a regional market. The Albertsons site is also an older building that will need improvements. “But, we’re willing to work with the right tenant.”

So how much will it cost the right tenant to lease the 33,153 square foot former Albertsons store in Poulsbo?

“[The going rate is] $10 per square foot per year, ‘as is, where is’,” Blankenship said. That equates to $311,153 per year. However, Blankenship said that is rarely the arrangement. Big box stores almost always require remodeling, depending on the merchandise, so there are likely to be “pretty detailed negotiations” regarding what improvements the landlord will pay for and which ones the tenant will be responsible for — and that all impacts the final lease price.

“We’re optimistic we’ll find the right tenant to fill that vacancy,” he said.