Bi-Mart will fill the vacant Paul’s Market building in Caldwell, the third new store announced in the past year by the Eugene, Ore.-based membership department store chain.
Bi-mart is opening a Kuna store on Nov. 9 behind Ridley’s Family Market, and foundation work started in early October for a 32,000-square-foot store in Star. No opening date has been set for Star or Caldwell, Bi-Mart spokesman Don Leber said.
The Treasure Valley is the easternmost outpost for Bi-Mart, which arrived in Ontario in 1977 but didn’t expand in the Treasure Valley until opening its first two Idaho stores in Weiser in 2006 and Emmett in 2009.
“It’s just an opportunity for where the growth is,” Leber said. ”These three stores give us efficiency to ship merchandise.”
For all three stores, Sletten Construction of Boise is the general contractor and SSW Engineers of Eugene, Ore., is the architect.
Boise-based Albertson’s Companies shut down the Caldwell Paul’s Market on 10th Avenue in April 2016 after acquiring seven Paul’s Markets. It closed the stores in Caldwell, Nampa and Mountain Home and rebranded as Albertsons the stores in Homedale, Kuna, Boise and McCall.
The 35,250-square-foot Paul’s Market building is among the half-dozen largest retail buildings in Caldwell, said Keri Smith-Sigman, economic development specialist at the city of Caldwell.
“For us to have that building empty only a year and a half is fantastic,” Smith-Sigman said. “Bi-Mart gives people an opportunity to keep dollars local.”
Caldwell is in the second of a three-year deal with Buxton, a Fort Worth, Texas, customer analytics firm that is working to match Caldwell with 20 franchise companies. Smith-Sigman said Bi-Mart was one of the first matches presented to Caldwell.
Bi-Mart will talk a bite out of the $150 million “leakage” that Buxton determined Caldwell residents leave town to spend, Smith-Sigman said.