ARCO station and ampm store proposed in Poulsbo

arcoAn ARCO fuel station and ampm convenience store could join the Sonic Drive-In at the corner of Viking Avenue and Highway 305.

A site plan review application has been filed for a 3,180-square-foot store, a nine-pump service station and 1,152-square-foot car wash on the 2-acre site, according to a notice distributed by the city Friday.

The station would be served by two underground storage tanks. Plans include parking for 11 vehicles.

BP West Coast Products submitted the permit application for the 22003 Viking Ave. property.

The city will accept comments on the application through Dec. 23. See the full notice below for details.

Toy shop open in old Winslow Drug

A toy store is now open in the 290 Winslow Way space long home to Winslow Drug.

Calico Toy Shoppe, which had been located in Winslow Green, moved into the former pharmacy building late last month, adding a splash of color to the storefront:

Owner Elisabeth Dahl said the Winslow Way store is roughly double the size of the Calico’s Winslow Green space, giving the shop more room for toys and games.

Winslow Drug closed in May after 60 years in business.

You can see more photos of Calico’s new store on Facebook.

State approves St. Anthony Hospital expansion

20090626-204356-pic-934221171_5654090_ver1.0_640_480State regulators have signed off on CHI Franciscan Health’s plan to add 32 beds to St. Anthony hospital in Gig Harbor. 

The Department of Health conditionally approved a certificate of need for the expansion on Nov. 29, according to documents posted online.

The $15.6 million project will build out the unfinished fifth floor of the hospital, bringing St. Anthony’s licensed bed count to 112.

CHI Franciscan proposed the additional beds to meet growing demand for services. The facility is frequently at full capacity, resulting in longer wait times and patient transfers to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.

“Building out St. Anthony will allow us to afford better care for our patients in the greater Gig Harbor community, with room to accommodate more patients with increased access to local services,” Dr. Lance Bear, MD, chief of surgery at St. Anthony, said in a news release. 

The new beds are expected to open in early 2018.

This post was updated to include information from a Wednesday news release.

Home sales remained strong in November

RealEstate_FILE01_21275712_ver1.0_640_480Real estate sales activity remained elevated in Kitsap last month, as did home prices.

Pending sales in the county were up 16 percent in November compared with November of 2015, while closed sales were up 30 percent, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service. 

A sales surge was reported across the Puget Sound region.

“November’s pending sales for the four-county area of King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap were the highest since 2005,” John L. Scott CEO J. Lennox Scott noted in a NWMLS news release.

“Every time interest rates increase 0.5 percent we see these surges because buyers become anxious about increasing rates – but on a historical basis rates are still amazing,”

Those eager buyers competed over a dwindling supply of home listings.

In Kitsap, 330 new listings came on the market in November, bringing the number of homes for sale in the county to 758. Inventory was down only 1.3 percent from November of 2015, but still very low compared with previous years.

Homes sold in Kitsap in November fetched a median price of $280,000, up about 8 percent or $21,000 from the same time last year.

Here’s a graphical look at Kitsap real estate market trends:

And here’s a map showing real estate stats by submarket. Hover your mouse over each area for details.

Commercial real estate roundup: Church sells development land in Silverdale

newlifePrime Silverdale development land in changed hands in August when Newlife church sold its 8-acre property on Clear Creek Road to The JWJ Group of Silverdale for $3.75 million.

Newlife bought the parcels in 2008 with plans for a Central Kitsap campus. The church is now building a worship and training center in the former Silverdale Regal Cinemas building.

The Clear Creek sale was among a number of high profile commercial real estate transactions completed in August and September. Some we’ve already written about, like the sale of undeveloped land in College Marketplace and the former American Marine Bank headquarters on Bainbridge.

But there were still plenty of deals to catch up on. Here’s a look at other major commercial sales from August and September with details from the county assessor’s office and additional sources:

College Marketplace, Poulsbo — $8.22 million

Sale date: Aug. 31

Sold by: MUFG Union Bank to Olhava Investment Group LLC

Description: More than 60 acres of development land in Poulsbo’s College Marketplace master plan area, zoned for a mix of business park, commercial and residential uses.

Notes:  The buyer was Hotel Concepts of Seattle, which plans a 110-room hotel on five acres near Home Depot. Land not needed for the hotel is back on the market. Union Bank took over the land in a foreclosure sale last year.

Clear Creek land, Silverdale — $3.75 million

clear-creekSale date: Aug. 16

Sold by: Newlife Church on the Peninsula to The JWJ Group LLC

Description: Two parcels totaling 8.6 acres west of Clear Creek Road, just north of Greaves Way and The Trails at Silverdale shopping center. 

Notes:  Newlife bought this property in 2008 with plans to build a campus there. The church is now building a center near the Silverdale YMCA.

Former American Marine Bank, Bainbridge — $3.65 million

columbia-bankSale date: Aug. 22

Sold by: Columbia State Bank to Old Mill Place Propertiess LLC

Description: Original American Marine Bank headquarters at 249 Winslow Way. Constructed in the 1940s. Now home to Columbia Bank.

Notes:  The property was purchased by islander George Lobisser as an investment. The Columbia Bank branch will remain in place.

Peninsula Glen Apartments, Poulsbo — $2.84 million

peninsula-glenSale date: Aug. 3

Sold by: Ronald and Linea Montplaisir to Pen Glen LLC 1

Description: An apartment complex on five acres on Hostmark Street, east of North Kitsap High School.

Notes:  The same buyer purchased the neighboring Woodcreek apartments, and has plans to add 24 units to the combined properties. 

Sonic Drive-in, Poulsbo — $2.6 million

poulsbo-sonic_Sale date: Sept. 8 

Sold by: Columbia Property Managers LLC to SB Poulsbo LLC

Description: A newly-constructed fast food restaurant on 1 acre at the intersection of Viking Avenue and Highway 305. 

Winslow Way building, Bainbridge — $2.5 million

winslow-waySale date: Sept. 29

Sold by: DLG Leasing LLC to Michael and Darden Burns LLC

Description: An 11,660-square-foot commercial building on 1 acre at 253 Winslow Way West. 

Notes: Home to Seattle Children’s Bainbridge Bargains Boutique.

Olympic Place II, Poulsbo — $1.87 million

olympic-iiSale date: Sept. 26

Sold by: Roben Family Limited Partnership to James Lane C LLC

Description: A 34,000-square-foot commercial building and parking lot on 3 acres at 1050 NE Hostmark Street, east of Highway 305. 

Notes:  Built in 1984, according to a listing.

Hardware building, Kingston — $1.8 million

henerySale date: Aug. 25

Sold by: Kingston Center LLC to HH & Sons LLC

Description: A 14,400-square-foot building on 1 acre on Highway 104, next to the Food Market

Notes:  Home to Henery Hardware. It appears the Henery family just bought the building from owners of the shopping center.

Former Sound Publishing plant, Bainbridge — $1.45 million

soundSale date: Sept. 13

Sold by: Sound Publishing Properties Inc. to Day Road Industrial Park LLC

Description: Two commercial buildings on 4.5 acres in the Day Road industrial area. 

Notes:  The main building once housed Sound Publishing printing presses and the Bainbridge Review newsroom. Now home to Salisbury Woodworking.

Former Frontier Bank, Silverdale — $1.4 million

frontierSale date: Aug. 9

Sold by: MUFG Union Bank to SKBA LLC

Description: A 14,000-square-foot bank building on 1 acre at the corner of Silverdale Way and Myhre Road.

Notes:  One of several Frontier Bank branches acquired by Union Bank when Frontier failed.

Lighthouse restaurant, Port Orchard — $1.39 million

b0017143761-187742Sale date: Sept. 8

Sold by: 429 Bay Street LLC to Kashi 201 Williams LLC

Description: A 9,250-square-foot restaurant at 429 Bay Street on the Port Orchard waterfront. 

Notes:  New owner Ali Kashi plans to open a Cheers Bar & Grill in the landmark restaurant building in January.

Robinswood Apartments, Kingston — $1.34 million

robinswoodSale date: Sept. 14

Sold by: 17th On High LLC to Kim Pax LLC

Description: An apartment complex at 10434 Highway 104 next to Reliable Storage.

Sunnyslope land, South Kitsap — $600,000

Sale date: Aug. 31

Sold by: Davies Pearson PC (trustee) to Assemblies of God Loan Fund

Description: Four parcels totaling about 26 acres on Victory Drive, near the intersection of Sunnyslope Road and Highway 3, and a duplex on Jones Drive in Port Orchard.

Notes:  This was a forced sale. The land was formerly owned by South Kitsap Family Worship Center.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP FOR APRIL THROUGH JULY.

Poulsbo store hosts state’s first Walmart training academy

20060124-061050-pic-244474290_5739339_ver1-0_640_480-1The inaugural class of Walmart’s first training academy in Washington will don caps and gowns in Poulsbo next week.

The new training center at the Poulsbo Walmart Supercenter is among 200 the retail giant plans to open in the next year.

The academies are aimed at helping department managers and hourly supervisors gain retail skills and the knowledge needed to run their specific departments, according to a news release. Participants receive two weeks of hands-on training in classrooms and on the sales floor.

A ceremony for the Poulsbo academy graduates is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Poll: Where will you get your Christmas tree?

Kitsap residents have a bounty of options when it comes to picking a Christmas tree.

xmas-tree-chart

There are, of course, no shortage of stores and tree lots offering pre-cut firs, pines and spruces.

For families who want to harvest their own, the county home to more than 500 acres of planted Christmas trees, with U-cut farms dotted across the peninsula.

More adventurous tree hunters can buy a $5 permit from the Forest Service and make a foray into the Olympics.

So if a tree is part of your holiday tradition, where do you plan to get yours this this year? (Or where did you already grab one?)

Where will you get your Christmas tree this year?

View Results

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If you need help finding a tree this year, the Kitsap Sun has a handy guide to u-cut farms and lots on the peninsula.

Photo by Larry Steagall. See a gallery of Larry’s Christmas tree shots here.

Hotel planned in Poulsbo’s College Marketplace

poulsbo-hotelProperty bordering Poulsbo’s Home Depot offers some of the best views in the city, with Liberty Bay and Mount Rainier visible on clear days.

The hilltop site would provide a dramatic setting for a hotel, which, it turns out, is just what a Seattle hospitality company has planned there.

Hotel Concepts is moving ahead with plans for a 110-room hotel on 5 acres in College Marketplace, according to representatives of real estate firm Marcus & Millichap.

Agent Brian Mayer said Hotel Concepts is in the process of selecting an architect and franchise for the project, and plans to move ahead rapidly with permitting. The Poulsbo site offers easy access to Highways 3 and 305, and is situated near to major retailers and an Olympic College branch:

Hotel Concepts isn’t new to Kitsap. The company operates both the Hampton Inn & Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites in downtown Bremerton. Its full portfolio includes a dozen hotels in the Seattle area and a Holiday Inn Express in Kona, Hawaii.

Hotel Concepts recently purchased more than 60 acres in the College Marketplace master plan area. Land outside of the hotel site is being offered for sale by Marcus & Millichap. The available property includes a mix of parcels zoned for business park, commercial and residential use.

College Marketplace could once again be a hotbed for development in the near future. Housing Kitsap and Central Highland Homes have plans for a residential neighborhood on the hillside, while The YMCA is considering building a facility next to Olympic College.

Kitsap entered fall with more jobs and a growing labor force

More jobs are available in Kitsap this fall than in previous years, according to the state Employment Security Department.

But a growing labor force has contributed to a higher unemployment rate in the county.

Jobs in Kitsap

chartimgA preliminary estimate showed 89,600 non-farm jobs in Kitsap in October, an increase of 900 from October 2015.

 

Of the new jobs, 700 were created in the government sector while 200 were added in the private sector.

The state has consistently reported more jobs in Kistap this year than in 2015, and significantly more jobs than in 2014. There  were about 2,600 more jobs in the county in October 2016 than in October 2014.

Employment/unemployment

Nearly 111,500 Kitsap residents were employed in October, according to Employment Security, marking an increase of 1,460 from October of last year.

The county’s labor force — the total number of people working or seeking work — grew by more than 2,400 over the same period, topping 118,300 in October.

Growth in the labor force has contributed to a higher unemployment rate in the county this year compared with 2015.chartimg-1

For statistical purposes, people are only counted as “unemployed” if they are actively seeking work. So as more people join the labor force and look for work, it can cause the unemployment rate to rise.

That appears to be the case in Kitsap, where the unemployment rate rose from 5.1 percent in October of 2015 to 5.8 percent in October of 2016, despite more residents becoming employed.

Obamacare enrollment climbs in Kitsap

county-enrollment
Click to enlarge

About 300 more Kitsap residents were covered by health care plans purchased through the state’s exchange this year than in 2015, according to a report released earlier this month.

An additional 2,000 residents enrolled in the state’s expanded Apple Health (Medicaid) program over the same period.

As of September, the county was home to 5,206 residents covered by Qualified Health Plans and 43,936 covered by Apple Health.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange reported a more substantial jump in enrollment statewide.

The number of Washingtonians covered by Qualified Health Plans climbed by 13,581 in 2016, a 9 percent increase.

Enrollment is currently open for 2017 exchange plans. Customers who want their coverage to activate in January must enroll by Dec. 15. Open enrollment ends Jan. 31.

Enrollment in Apple Health is open all year.

For information, go to the Healthplanfinder website.