Northwest Greening

PCC Natural Markets opens Redmond store with local, organic, and eco-friendly features

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PCC Natural Markets opened its eighth store in Redmond, Wash., on Wednesday, May 17, 2006, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by Redmond mayor Rosemarie Ives. The 23,382-square-foot grocery store (15,792 square feet of retail) offers shoppers a wide selection of organic and natural products in one of the “greenest” structures in King County. Building enhancements that maximize energy efficiency and minimize waste are expected to qualify the store for LEED certification, which would make PCC Redmond the first grocery store in the country to be awarded the LEED Gold level.

“It has been very gratifying to work with many local producers and community groups in bringing our fresh, natural shopping experience to Redmond and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Tracy Wolpert, CEO. The new store will showcase an expansive produce department featuring local, organic, and seasonal fruits and vegetables; a 100-percent natural meat and sustainable seafood department; a full-service deli with a fresh sushi bar; and an extensive selection of domestic and imported wines and beers. It also features interior and exterior customer seating, and a state-of-the-art classroom and teaching kitchen, where cooking classes for adults and children will be offered through the popular PCC Cooks program.

Headquartered in Seattle, PCC has 40,000 member households and some 700 full- and part-time staff. Revenue in 2005 was $93,000,000 and expected to jump to $108,000,000 in 2006.

According to Lori Ross, PCC’s director of store development, “We worked with Velocipede Architects and the Freehold Group in developing our Fremont store, which opened in 2003. We were happy to have them involved again, and to bring Woodman Construction on board for Redmond.”

Physically and operationally, the new store will reflect PCC’s commitment to sustainable business practices, from the building’s energy-efficient features to the use of biodegradeable shopping bags. By day, the sales area will be lit by natural light enhanced by 28 skylights specially glazed to block solar heat. Energy-efficient fixtures will provide lighting well below Washington State’s energy code, and timers and sensors have been installed to minimize usage of all store energy-consuming systems. The store’s space heating, water heating, and refrigeration systems have been designed so that they are interconnected, making it possible for the refrigeration system’s waste heat to be utilized by the other systems. All building products were selected for low VOCs (volatile organic compounds); all furniture and outdoor seating have been obtained from reuse sources; and cabinetry throughout the entire store is made of Skyblend, a 100-percent recycled material.

The site of the new Redmond PCC was originally supposed to house a Larry’s Market, but the upscale grocery chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy recently and backed out of the deal. The store had been through the design review process when PCC decided to lease the site last summer. “The transition was made before the shell building was under construction,” said George Ostrow of Velocipede Architects. Ostrow modified the design to fit PCC’s needs, slicing off 4,000 square feet, lowering the ceiling, and poking skylight holes in the roof.

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Diana Crane is public relations manager at PCC Natural Markets in Seattle ([email protected]).

See other articles from this issue: #125 July - August - 2006