Restaurants, shops coming to Richland’s Vintner Square

Tri-City shoppers can expect to see new restaurants and shops — including Ulta Beauty and MOD Pizza — opening next year in the Vintner Square development near Target off Queensgate Drive in Richland.

It’s all part of the developers’ plan to provide a “high quality tenant mix,” said Jim Stephens, director of leasing and development for Browman Development Co., the retail center’s California-based owner.

Target opened up in 2007 to anchor the 340,000-square-foot shopping center and it’s been filling in as quickly as expected, Stephens said.

“This is kind of how the timeline goes when you want to have a high quality tenant mix. We have a long-term ownership focus and we want to make sure we’re bringing in the right kind of tenants that are going to be successful and drive traffic to the shopping center,” he said.

He said the trick is to find the best mix of national, regional and local retailers and restaurants. “People don’t just want to go to national stores. On the flip side, the local businesses in our center benefit from traffic of national retailers,” he said.

MOD Pizza plans to open four to six new company-owned restaurants in the Tri-City area, with the first opening next year in Vintner Square.

The Seattle-based restaurant chain is under construction between Bob’s Burgers & Brew and Les Schwab Tire Center off Duportail Street.

The 2,800-square-foot restaurant will feature an outdoor patio with the opening set for mid-2017.

“We will continue to grow our presence in the Tri-Cities and plan to add an additional four to six locations in the next few years,” said Charlotte Wayte, company spokeswoman. Locations for the restaurants haven’t been announced yet.

MOD Pizza features thin crust, Italian street-style pizzas made on demand. The MOD format is a bit like Chipotle’s. Pizzas are made for you as you wait.

“You can order from our menu of nine classic pizzas, or create your own. Either way, our pizzas are always one price, $7.47,” Wayte said.

Salads, beer and wine also will be available at the sit-down restaurant.

“Once you order, you choose a seat.  We work hard to create a great atmosphere that is fun to hang out in – and super family-friendly.  Kids can roam around the restaurant – and parents can enjoy a glass of wine or a beer,” Wayte said.

The Richland eatery expects to hire 25 to 30 employees.

“We’ll also be looking for a local nonprofit that focuses on at-risk youth and families to be our partner for our grand opening.  The organization will receive 100 percent of all pizza sales on opening day,” Wayte said.

MOD Pizza has 161 restaurants across 18 states and plans to be close to 200 stores before the end of the year. It also has two locations in the United Kingdom, with three more opening before the end of the year.

“Our founders, Scott and Ally Svenson, spent 11 years working and living in London. While they were there, they founded Seattle Coffee Co. — missing their lattes from Seattle — which they built up to nearly 70 locations before selling to Starbucks in 1998, paving the way for the coffee giant to enter Europe,” Wayte said.

MOD Pizza’s neighbor will be The Mattress Firm, which already has four locations in the Tri-Cities.

Vandervert Construction in Spokane is contractor for the new two-tenant building, valued at $710,000.

Across the parking lot, Ross Dress For Less opened its new store in early October.

Also opening next door to Ross is Ulta Beauty, a national retailer of cosmetics, hair and skin care products and other beauty supplies. It has a store near Columbia Center mall in Kennewick.

Stephens said the 10,000-square-foot Ulta Beauty store will open next summer. He hopes to announce another tenant soon that will split the space with Ulta.

Vintner Square is just about at capacity, Stephens said. “What we have left that’s available is a pad on Duportail that could support probably 5,000 or 6,000 square feet that’s west of Les Schwab,” he said.

Another restaurant will be opening adjacent to Kentucky Fried Chicken and across the street from HopJack’s and Qdoba. But developers can’t yet announce the name yet, Stephens said.

Construction on that multi-tenant building at the corner of Queensgate and Duportail will begin before the end of the year, he said.

The restaurant will take up 5,000 square feet of the 9,500-square-foot building and another 4,400-square feet of space will be available. The building will look similar to the MOD Pizza-Mattress Firm complex, Stephens said.

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