Construction continues at The Northgate Centre Marketplace on Monday. The center should be open by October. - Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch

Off to a fast start

The Northgate Centre Marketplace, which is set to open in October, has filled up so quickly with tenants such as Trader Joe's and REI that developers hope to break ground next spring for the second, larger phase of the project.

"We're super happy with Phase 1," said Ryan McNamara, investment manager with Regency Centers Corp., which has built 207 shopping centers across the country with a combined investment of $3 billion. The publicly traded company owns and manages 365 retail centers.

Twelve businesses have signed leases in Northgate, filling up all but 4,000 square feet of the 80,000 in the first phase.

McNamara said Trader Joe's and REI will open for business in October, with a grand opening for Northgate scheduled for early November.

Regency already is working with other potential tenants for the second phase of Northgate. Depending on how many tenants sign up, Regency could build from 100,000 to 150,000 square feet starting next spring, McNamara said.

Regency has signed confidentiality agreements with tenants, so he couldn't disclose any names of prospective clients.

McNamara said he anticipates Regency will build out the shopping center in two more phases, possibly taking fewer than five years to finish the project.

"If we had the tenants and all numbers worked out, we would build out right now," he said.

Alison Mochizuki, spokeswoman for Trader Joe's, said the grand opening for the Medford store will be held in October, but the actual date hasn't been firmed up yet.

The store will encompass 13,000 square feet, which falls within the average range of 10,000 to 15,000 square feet for Trader Joe's stores, Mochizuki said.

Inside the store, murals reflecting the history of Medford will be displayed, she said. "We will have a local flair to the store," Mochizuki said.

The type of products will be similar to other Trader Joe's, she said.

Applications for job openings will be accepted sometime before the end of summer, Mochizuki said. She said she couldn't confirm how many jobs would be available at the store. "As we get closer we will have more details," Mochizuki said.

REI is in the final stages of hiring between 50 and 60 employees for full- and part-time positions. The store will open Oct. 5, according to Bethany Hawley, spokeswoman for the company. For more information, check

The store will feature bike, ski and snowboard shop services for quick assembly and repair. A seasonal gear rental department will allow customers to test new equipment.

Local developer Steve Morgan, managing partner with the Northgate Center LLC, said bringing in Regency was a boon to help get the project off the ground.

"My partner and I gave up a little more of the project to bring in these guys as heavy hitters," he said.

Once it is completely built out, Northgate will feature 417,000 square feet of retail on 42 acres, Morgan said.

Another 42 acres across the street is still in the planning stages, he said.

Morgan said retailers are attracted to the valley because the area draws in shoppers from around the region.

Morgan said he wouldn't be surprised if the second phase begins next spring.

"We're getting more interest every day," he said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email

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