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Pharm to market: Geiger’s will become a grocery

A small specialty market will more than likely take the place of Geiger’s Pharmacy in early 2010, giving downtown residents access to groceries while serving the food needs of visitors to local marinas, the owners of the building hope.

“We have a local merchant who is very interested in the space,” said Van Vlist, who manages the space for his family. “I’m 99 percent sure this will happen.”

Vlist would not disclose the name of the interested merchant, only to say it was a “locally based independent grocer with a high-end inventory.”

He said the 3,200-square-foot space would be reconfigured into “a small version of Trader Joe’s.”

Vlist said that he expects the tenants on the top floor to remain, and that the building would not be remodeled into a two story market.

“I expect everyone to stay where they are,” he said. “They’re all good tenants.”

Since pharmacist Bob Geiger announced his retirement last month, there has been much speculation about a potential replacement for the strategically located Bay Street site.

The ideas discussed most so far are a small market and a boat supply store.

Mayor Lary Coppola announced the pending deal at the July 28 meeting of the Port Orchard City Council, although without details.

“I think a market downtown would be a good thing,” said Puget Sound Wine Cellars owner John Ready. “When boaters come into town from to the marina, there is no place they can get fresh food like a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread.”

Ready said the downtown “can use more viable businesses.”

One unavailable product, which he may end up selling himself, is ice.

City Councilman Jerry Childs, who lives one black from City Hall, said he liked the downtown market idea because it would give people a place to socialize as they bought their groceries.

“If they put an outside seating place it could be a place to go to if you want to see people or be seen,” Childs said. “It would be a good thing to create that kind of ambiance. We have a people who live right on the hill downtown that could use a grocery store.”

Vlist said he expects to get an artist conception of the new store in the next few weeks.

“I think this will be a great thing for this area,” he said. “It will help to make downtown more pedestrian-friendly.”

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