Old Top Food and Drug building in North Auburn to get new tenant

Saar's Marketplace will occupy the old Top Foods building on Auburn Way North.

The Oak Harbor-based grocer submitted a building permit application to the City of Auburn on Feb. 24.

According to planning documents, the company expects to spend $85,000 to rearrange elements of the building's existing floor plan. Shelving, cash registers, produce, and meat departments are to stay where they are, though the company expects to make minor layout changes to office space and to some of the cold cases. It also expects to install new storage area doors and a new ceiling.

Saar's, a privately-held company founded in 1998, operates stores in Lakewood, Oak Harbor, Port Orchard, Renton, Seattle and Tacoma.

A company spokesman said the plan is to open the store in late spring.

The company's reputation is to go where other grocers could not make a go of it, marketing its stores to different ethnic mixes within neighborhoods after studying their demographics.

Bellingham-based Haggen Inc., announced last October that it would close its north Auburn store and stores in Kent and Yakima as part of its "long-term transformation plan to improve its overall business performance and strengthen its competitive position."

The company kept its Lakeland Hills store at 1406 Lake Tapps Parkway E., but has renamed it Haggen Northwest Fresh.

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