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Casey’s shutting its doors

It’s the end of the road for Casey’s Red Apple.

Sometime between now and April 12, when its lease expires, the 20,000-square-foot grocery store that anchors the Bayview shopping center will close.

Store owner Jim Springer said the family tried to keep the grocery store open, with no luck.

“We weren’t able to come to reasonable terms with the property owner, Goosefoot,” said store owner Jim Springer.

“We worked on it for over a year, but they were asking for a lot more rent.

I was asking for comparable rent to what we pay at Ken’s Korner, but they wouldn’t agree,” he said.

Casey’s has been a Bayview fixture since the mid-1960s.

Springer added that he doesn’t expect to lose any employees; all will be offered positions at the other location.

Currently living in Las Vegas, Nev., Springer will be moving to South Whidbey full-time later this year to oversee operations. He said he and son Steve, who is store manager at Casey’s Red Apple, plan to focus their energy on the family’s grocery at Ken’s Korner. “We’re excited at the prospect,” he said.

At the Bayview store this week, changes are already apparent. The video area is empty and a lot of the general merchandise has been transferred to Ken’s Korner at Langley Road and Highway 525. Shelves and parts of the store are empty.

“We’re trying to sell as much of it as we can,” noted store employee Belinda Locke. “We’re happy to have folks stop on by.”

Steve Springer noted that a lot of regular customers have expressed concerns about the change.

“They told us they would follow us down the road to Ken’s and we appreciate that,” he said.

Goosefoot purchased the property in July 2005. The other businesses at the site — Curves, the Clover Patch Café and Casey’s Crafts — have either renewed their leases or plan to shortly. Curves will open Feb. 2 in the space vacated by Copy This, Mail That, which left at the end of December.

As yet, there are no tenants planned for the free-standing building that was formerly a bank.

Goosefoot director Chris Hurley said the decision by Springer not to renew the Red Apple lease was purely financial.

“He decided to consolidate his two stores into one,” she said. “The base rent at Bayview is more than at Ken’s Korner, so it was a straightforward business decision on his part.”

Hurley said her organization has been working hard on future plans for the space, but couldn’t reveal any details yet.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you who is going in there by the end of March,” she said.

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