New businesses coming to Redmond Town Center

A worker applies stucco to the side of the building that will be BJ
A worker applies stucco to the side of the building that will be BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in Redmond Town Center.
— image credit: Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter

It’s been about a year and a half since Borders in Redmond Town Center (RTC) has closed and the search to find a new tenant — or tenants — to occupy the former bookstore continues.

Christina Henning, senior marketing manager for RTC, said they have had a lot of interest in the space and they are still looking for a business that would be a good fit. There are many types of businesses that can move into the space, she said, including stores that sell apparel for men, women and children or shoes. Henning said it is also possible for a restaurant to fill the space.

“There’s a lot of options, and when we find the right retailer or retailers, we’ll mutually know it’s a good fit and let our shoppers and community know as soon as we can,” she said.

The vacant location is 25,000 square feet — pretty big for a Borders store, Henning said, crediting the store’s size and corner location in the town center as one of the reasons why the store was among the last to close when Borders Group, Inc. went out of business.

Because the space is so large, Henning said there is potential to break it into smaller spaces.

What these possible divisions could look like would depend on the tenant and what they need. Henning said some businesses may need a space with high ceilings while others may only need one floor. Others still may need two floors but not all of the horizontal space.

Although the future of the former Borders location is still up in the air, Henning said they do have a few businesses moving in to RTC and set to open later this year.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is currently under construction on the south side of the complex. The restaurant is located next to Claim Jumper along Bear Creek Parkway, between 164th and 166th avenues northeast, where Desert Fire used to be.

BJ’s offers a variety of dining options including sandwiches, pasta, burgers and shareable appetizers. However, the restaurant’s specialty is deep-dish pizza. They also serve hand-crafted beer.

“That’ll be a wonderful addition to the center,” Henning said.

Another new addition will be Kitanda, a Brazilian coffeehouse based in Kirkland, which will be moving into the former Tully’s Coffee location at the corner of Northeast 74th Street and 164th Avenue Northeast.

Henning said RTC will be donating the space at 7303 164th Ave. N.E. to Venues for Artists in the Local Area, Eastside (VALA). This space will become the VALA Art Center and is set to open this spring. The space will feature artist residencies, artwork installations, public events connecting artist to artists and artists to the public and educational programs for all ages.

“The art center will be a wonderful addition to Redmond Town Center,” Henning said. “It’s definitely a learning opportunity.”

She said the town center has always been a big supporter of art in the community, adding that the RTC Arts Festival and Sidewalk Sale will be returning this year and will coincide with the weekend of Derby Days.

In late 2013, 24 Hour Fitness will be opening at 7320 170th Ave. N.E., where Top Foods used to be. Henning said this location will have a lap pool, basketball court, kid’s club and childcare.

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