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Eyesore revitalized with rest of downtown

Arlington Cenex Co-Op Supply Branch Manager Zeek Maier stands outside the former Safeway building, at the intersection of S. Olympic Avenue and E. Maple Street, with it’s boarded-up windows and dingy exterior. - KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times
Arlington Cenex Co-Op Supply Branch Manager Zeek Maier stands outside the former Safeway building, at the intersection of S. Olympic Avenue and E. Maple Street, with it’s boarded-up windows and dingy exterior.
— image credit: KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON A building seen for years as an eyesore is set to be revitalized with the rest of the city's downtown.

The former Safeway building, at the intersection of S. Olympic Avenue and E. Maple Street, will reopen this summer as the new main store for the Cenex Co-Op Supply in Arlington, according to Co-Op Supply Branch Manager Zeek Maier.

The Cenex Co-Op Supply acquired the former Safeway building when it purchased its current property nearly a decade ago. Maier credited recent growth in the community with generating the funds to refurbish the building.

"We've had more customers and we've brought in a broader spectrum of products," Maier said. "It's just been more of everything."

Maier told customers to expect even more of "more" once the store moves into its new building, since the larger space will allow expansions of both product lines and product availability.

"We'll have full lines of clothing, a bigger and better garden section, horse-tacking equipment and other products for larger animals, and an extensive pet area," Maier said. "Our existing store building will become the warehouse."

Renovation of the former Safeway building started in December of last year, and if passersby can't tell the difference yet, it's because the building is being refurbished from the inside out. Boarded-up windows conceal an immaculate new paint-job on the interior walls, as well as new lighting fixtures.

"We received an energy conservation grant from the Snohomish County PUD for energy-efficient light bulbs," Maier said. "Carpenters have worked on the walls and built a new dressing room. We've kept the big overhead wall clock that was part of the original Safeway store, though."

The Cenex Co-Op Supply has filed paperwork with the city for a new storefront, and Maier estimated that it would be at least "another two to three months" before the building is ready to open its doors.

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