More retail and residential development are ready to go on both the Stadium Thriftway building and parking lot sites, thanks to a recent deal by the Irwin Investment Group.

Owner David Irwin confirmed that the contract was signed on July 18.

“That's all part of the same acquisition,” he said. “We bought the two-story building, and the two lots across the street.”

The 59,595-square-foot Thriftway building, a concrete structure built in 1925 and renovated in 2010, is considered one of the neighborhood's key anchor businesses. Both the 1920 Morrell's Dry Cleaners site and the 1941 Precision Collision Services center, plus the 2.43 acres of parking lot across the street, are also part of the deal. Lot space is currently being leased to Group Health.

What's set to happen at those sites in the coming months is being mapped out by Tourmaline Capital, a San Diego company that's targeting a scenario to both complement and enhance the ambience of the current Stadium District neighborhood.

Tourmaline president and managing member Jonathan Cheng confirmed that the deal has been inked, and that there's a lot of commercial tenant interest brewing already.

“We've started the development process, and we're looking at all types of uses,” he said. “Our intent is to make this project look like it belongs in this neighborhood; we want to match it. And we're going full steam ahead.”

Denny Faker, manager of the Stadium Business District, said that the Thriftway grocery will stay on site, particularly after owner Mike Hargreaves invested more than $2.5 million in renovations in 2010.

“The plan is to redo the upstairs, along with the grocery, and create some sort of mixed-use site with it,” he explained.

Faker also said that the building itself will undergo the first development stages; changes on the parking lots will likely follow in a few years.

At Stadium Thriftway, owner Mike Hargreaves said that he's extremely pleased with the plans for new site development, particularly that he has a 20-year lease on his part of the building.

“I think (Jonathan Cheng)  has the knowledge, and the wherewithall, and the intent to do something really fun with the business,” he said.

Right now, what is known as the “Stadium Historic Business District” – north of downtown and heart of the city's North End neighborhood – is home to a gathering of more than 70 different types of small retail and service shops. Included in these are the well-known Stadium Thriftway store itself, The Harvester restaurant, Ranko's Pharmacy and Ball Automotive, as well as the newer Shake Shake Shake burger hangout, Art House Cafe and Gibson's frozen yogurt shop. The expansive greenery of Wright Park, with Seymore Conservatory, are also within the neighborhood's boundaries.

Said Faker, “As a district, we're excited to have a neighbor who is going to work create new development with a vision of high density according to our low height restrictions.”

For more details on the deal, and on neighborhood business reactions, see the full story online, or in the Aug. 5 issue of the Business Exminer.