The wait is nearly over for eager shoppers at Lake Kathryn Villiage. Photo: David Zeigler, KP News

New retail space will expand shopping options on the Key Peninsula.

Two anchor businesses are scheduled to open in the new Lake Kathryn Village buildings this fall. The Dollar Tree and Domino’s Pizza signed leases in September and should be open for business in October.

Domino’s will occupy the north side of the new building. Steve Gaube of Gig Harbor is the owner. He runs three other franchises, one in Gig Harbor and two in Port Orchard, with his wife and two sons. Gaube started as a driver for Domino’s in 1981 and said he opened his first store in 1987.

“I like to be involved in my businesses and being close to home is good,” he said. “I’m seeing a lot of community excitement — more than I have seen when I opened my other stores. We expect to be busy from the get-go.”

He plans to employ about 25 full and part-time workers, including 10 in the store and 15 drivers.

“We expect to be busy from the get-go.’

Bob Wilkins, who hosts the Key Peninsula Swap Meet, said, “We love our Burger King and its employees, but it will be nice to have an option from Domino’s when the pizza mood strikes.”

Dollar Tree will occupy 11,700 square feet of the building. Dollar Tree is a chain of discount variety stores selling items for $1 or less. It operates nearly 15,000 stores in the U.S., and has stores in Shelton, Tacoma, University Place and Lakewood. 

Local residents were enthusiastic about Dollar Tree coming to the Key Peninsula.

“I think it is a great idea for those of us who cannot afford all the high-end stuff and for those who can afford it but complain about their money situation on a daily basis,” said Diana Marcoe of Lakebay. “I know a lot of elders that would love to be able to shop a little cheaper.”

Nicole Elliott, who teaches at Key Peninsula Middle School said, “Amazing for us teachers as well!”

“I’m so excited to hear that this is confirmed! People underestimate the value of the items that this store sells,” said Rachel Johnson of Gig Harbor. “That store got me everything I needed in college, and the cleaning supplies are amazing. Can’t wait to have access just a few minutes away.”

“Don is a very supportive landlord.”

Mike Sherman, a long-term business associate of Lake Kathryn Village owner Don Zimmerman, is working with Zimmerman to manage the property and leases. The building was completed in late 2018, designed as a shell with spaces to be finished by tenants. Sherman said this arrangement has allowed for flexible options for the spaces and competitive rates.

“Don is a very supportive landlord,” he said.

Several businesses are considering the remaining six spaces, some of which could be combined. One measures 2,000 square feet, a second is 1,400, and the other four still available at press time are each 1,200 square feet. Sherman said that leasing is limited to family-friendly businesses.

“We know it is going to be a great center. The neighborhood has grown, and I think the stores will take off real fast,” Sherman said. 

Phase two of Zimmerman’s vision for Lake Kathryn Village will be complete once the new building is fully leased, Sherman said. Phase one was getting the road and light installed at the State Route-302 and 94th Ave NW intersection. Phase three is underway, with a plan to include some major retail businesses on the site.

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