BY ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
When Shopko closed its doors on Bend’s north side in April, the community almost immediately began speculating what business would move in to the vacant building.
Wednesday morning, an employee with the Allen Property Group, owners of the Bend River Shopping Center, confirmed that WInCo Foods has purchased the 100,000-square-foot building.
The City of Bend also confirmed that the Building Safety Divisions staff held a pre-submittal meeting with representatives of the regional chain earlier this month.
The representatives are proposing a remodel of the store, but has not yet applied for building permits.
Regardless, Bend residents are excited for the new business.
“I definitely would shop over here more because I used to love going to the one over in like Eugene and I think it’s nice that we have one, so.” said Amanda, who declined to give her last name.
“I moved here from Medford, Oregon 15 years ago and we had a Winco in Medford and we just loved it, it was a great store,” said Carol, who was shopping at the Bend River Shopping Center Wednesday. “And we heard that there would be one here in Bend soon, that was 15 years ago. Never happened so we’re just more than happy to hear that Winco’s coming in. They do a fine job and we love the concept of employee owned businesses.”
According to several media outlets, WinCo has been specifically targeting shuttered Shopko stores throughout the Northwest in recent months.
WinCo has nearly 130 stores throughout the Northwest including more than 20 in Oregon.