By Joseph Ditzler

The Bulletin

The developer behind Market of Choice in Bend has a project planned to bring a discount grocer to La Pine.

Darren Dickerhoof of Dickerhoof Properties, based in Corvallis, plans a 27,000-square-foot retail building at 51420 U.S. Highway 97, currently the site of High Lakes Feed. The plan calls for 18,000 square feet for a discount grocer and 9,000 square feet for a discount retailer. Dickerhoof declined to identify the tenants.

“We just went through the pre-application process, and we’re planning to submit (detailed plans) to the city by the end of the month,” he said Thursday.

The tenants could be open for business by January, Dickerhoof said. Dickerhoof’s construction arm, Dickerhoof Construction, is the general contractor, he said. He said the construction budget is still being tabulated. Like its Market of Choice project, Dickerhoof owns the property and the grocer and retailer will be tenants.

La Pine has a Ray’s Food Place, Shop Smart and several smaller markets and convenience stores.

Dickerhoof’s company also owns properties in Sisters that house Bi-Mart and Ray’s Food Place. In 2013, Dickerhoof acquired a 50 percent share of the Pioneer Crossing shopping center on SE Third Street at Badger Road, in Bend. In Redmond, his company developed the Petco site and the Red Rock Center, among other projects in Central Oregon.

“After we did some projects in Prineville eight to 10 years ago, we heard that Bi-Mart did really well in La Pine. The Bi-Mart guys asked us to do retail in La Pine around them,” Dickerhoof said. The recession of 2007 put a damper on those plans.

Meanwhile, the location along U.S. Highway 97 became available for development, he said. Deschutes County lists the property owners as Brewer & Brewer Inc., of Dexter, in Lane County. The feed store, also the site of a U-Haul dealer, will be torn down, Dickerhoof said.

“We thought it was a really good location,” he said.

Now 10 years as an incorporated city, La Pine is becoming a commercial hub, drawing people from Sunriver south toward Klamath Falls and southeast to Christmas Valley, said Interim City Manager Rick Allen. Although its population is just 1,600, La Pine serves a broader community; about 10,000 individual lots are located in the surrounding area, Allen said. Land use in La Pine skews more toward commercial than a typical city its size, as a result, he said.

“Incorporation helps things (move) forward,” Allen said Thursday. “A lot of national chains and organizations just don’t locate in unincorporated communities.”

Deschutes County earlier this month donated 2 acres for a future health clinic to be built by St. Charles Health System. Mid Oregon Credit Union is building a branch in La Pine to serve northern Klamath County and Lake County. Next on the La Pine wish list is a brewery or brewpub, Allen said.

“We’re ready to make that happen,” he said. “I’m sure we’d try to dig out some incentives.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815,