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Work under way on next phase of Northgate

The latest phase of the Northgate development is gurgling up across Highway 238 where the Hungry Woodsman restaurant once stood.

For the past three months, crews have pushed piles of dirt across the nine-acre site and rechanneled an irrigation canal to clear the way for infrastructure, with construction of Northgate Office Park soon to follow.

The land is zoned for commercial services and professional activity, but not full-on retail such as Trader Joe's or Dick's Sporting Goods located across the street. The first three tenants have signed leases, and commercial activity will likely begin next spring.

Starbucks and Stanton Optical, a national eye care firm, will share a 5,000-square-foot building, while DaVita Dialysis Center, which has a presence on Golf View Drive in southeast Medford, will occupy a 9,000-square-foot building.

Wade Six, who represents property owner Tatum Real Estate of Fort Collins, Colorado, said two-thirds of the property fronting Highways 99 and 238 remains available.

Two corner pads are expected to be used for 4,000-square-foot buildings that will house eateries in the fast-casual class, similar to RAM Restaurant & Brewery across the street. Another two-story, 10,000-square-foot office building is in the offing, as well.

Although Starbucks has a shop a few hundred yards away in Rogue Valley Mall, the desire for a drive-thru to go with similar shops on Highway 62, Barnett Road and Center Drive was appealing to the global caffeine purveyor.

"The primary thing they wanted was a drive-thru in this key north Medford trade area," Six said. "That's Starbucks' preferred model nationwide."

Stanton Optical operates in 22 states. It opened its first Oregon shop in Gresham last June. The West Palm Beach, Florida, chain launched in 2006 and now operates Oregon locations in Gresham, Happy Valley, Portland and Tigard, with a Salem location on the docket.

Six said he's concentrating on recruiting national tenants, but if a local entity wanted 1,500 square feet, that would work too.

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.

Construction is moving forward on the the next part of the Northgate development off Highway 238 in Medford. [Mail Tribune / Andy Atkinson]