A few more details on the Harrison project

We now know the primary contractor, the rough start date and the rough completion date for the new Harrison Medical Center hospital in Silverdale.

The builder, Balfour Beatty Construction, was announced by Harrison Wednesday. Work will be overseen by Howard S. Wright, Balfour Beatty’s Seattle-based Washington Division.

0925_Harrison_Silverdale_HORZ_KSI caught up with Chris Martindale, health care lead for Howard S. Wright, on Friday to learn more about the plans.

Martindale said the firm is already lining up subcontractors for electrical and mechanical work. It expects to bring on about 50 subcontractors for the project as a whole, and will hire as many locals as possible.

“We’ll absolutely be reaching out to local partners,” he said.

Martindale estimated the expansion will require roughly 585,000 man-hours. About 150 people will be employed at the job site.

Site work will begin in late summer at the earliest. Structural work could commence in January 2016. The expanded campus is expected to open in 2018.

Martindale believes Balfour Beatty was a good fit for the project because it has both a local presence and national resources. Balfour Beatty is the nation’s third largest builder, and seventh largest builder of health care facilities.

The company has a few Kitsap connections. A senior superintendent for the Harrison expansion, Greg Rosinski, and project manager Ahren Boettger both live in the county, Martindale said.

Office vacancies lowest in Silverdale, highest in Bremerton

Office building vacancies declined over the past year in most of Kitsap County, according to a market report provided by Bradley Scott, Inc. in Bremerton.

Bradley Scott surveyed 294 office buildings totaling 3.78 million square feet to create its February report, one of two studies it compiles each year.

CvrStry_B_2311pg4_lightboxAbout 14.2 percent of office space in the county was vacant in February, compared to 15 percent in February 2014 (see charts below).

The report noted overall vacancies were up slightly from July of 2014, but the increase was almost entirely due to new construction.

Countywide, vacancy rates have been declining since 2012.

Bainbridge Island saw a 4.43 percent decline it its vacancy rate from February 2014 to February 2015, ending at 9.96 percent. The island remains the county’s most active office market, benefitting from its close proximity to Seattle.

Bremerton boasts the largest inventory of office space in the county and the highest vacancy rate. More than 19 percent of Bremerton office space was vacant in February.

Port Orchard, the county’s smallest office market, saw its vacancy rate decline from 15.54 percent in February 2014 to 12.89 percent in February 2015.

Poulsbo was the only market that experienced an office vacancy increase over the past year. Poulsbo’s vacancy rate jumped from 12.93 percent in February 2014 to 14.69 percent in February 2015. The increase was largely due to one major tenant downsizing, according to the report.

Silverdale, the county’s second largest office market, enjoys the lowest vacancy rate at about 8 percent. Though still lower than a year ago, vacancies in Silverdale actually crept up in the past six months as new space came on the market.

Here’s a graphical look at office vacancy rates around the county:

Storyville Coffee selling space in Winslow

storyvilleStoryville Coffee is selling its Winslow Way storefront, laying to rest years of speculation it would open a shop there.

The Bainbridge-based coffee company’s space at 240 Winslow Way was listed for sale Monday for $1,885,000. Storyville still maintains its roastery in the Coppertop Park, where it operates a tasting room.

A marketing manager, who asked his name not be used, said Storyville shifted focus to starting stores in Seattle, and decided against opening on Winslow Way. Storyville has three Seattle shops, including one on Pike Place.

The marketing manager declined to comment on whether a Storyville still has plans for a shop in downtown Winlsow.

The 6,350-square-foot 240 Winslow Way building was long home to the town’s hardware store. Winslow Hardware closed its doors in 2005 and was replaced by Port Madison Home, which shut down in 2011.

Storyville bought the property in November 2011 for $1.55 million, according to assessor’s documents. The coffee company put signs in the windows and held “pop-up” shops there, but the cafe many islanders were expecting never materialized.

Storyville recently took a beating from local media outlets for reported connections between its ownership and recently-disbanded Mars Hill Church. 

The marketing manager said there are no connections between the coffee company and defunct church, and said the media reports played no role in its decision not to open a shop on Winslow Way.

“We love Bainbridge Island and welcome everyone,” he said.

Photo by Andrea Mackin

Independent birth center finds home in Poulsbo

28bbae_1faea6359cd640cb97e81755d16f89c4.jpg_srz_p_718_309_75_22_0.50_1.20_0The county’s only standalone birth center is due to open in Poulsbo this summer.

Salmonberry Community Birth Center recently signed a lease on a 2,000-sqare-foot space in the North Kitsap Medical Center, at the intersection of Bond Road and Highway 305. Owners plan to be licensed and ready to deliver babies there in August.

The Poulsbo location places the birth center close to medical services, including an urgent care practice and fire station. Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale is about 10 miles down the highway.

The facility will include three birth suites with hydrotherapy tubs to accommodate water births. There will also be a family and classroom space.

Salmonberry midwives Louisa Wales and Melanie Brindle are already signing up clients through Gumnut Blossom Midwifery on Bainbridge Island. Clients will be seen at the island offices until June, when the new Poulsbo center will be ready for visits.

Salmonberry was founded by a group of midwives and doulas who wanted to give Kitsap families an alternative to home births or hospital births. They completed a successful crowdsourcing campaign last summer, raising more than $30,000.

Check the Salmonberry page on Facebook for updates.

Viking corner, Gorst storage among February commercial sales

A prominent Viking Way corner, a former Boater’s World on Highway 303, and a self-storage facility in Gorst were among the notable commercial sales of February.

Thirteen commercial parcels changed hands last month for a total of $8.12 million, according to  county assessor’s documents.

Here’s a look at a few  high-profile transactions:

Viking Way/Lindvig Way — $375,000

Sale date: Feb. 9

Assessed value: $225,490

Sold by: Armstrong and Degroot to Bertsch, LLC.

Description: A half-acre parcel and 3,300-square-foot building at 371 Lindvig Way, on the southeast corner of the Viking Way intersection (behind the famous Viking statue).

Notes: The property was home to engineering firm. The buyer owns Peninsula Fire Inc., also on Viking Way.

Bayview Mini Storage — $1.8 million

Sale date: Feb. 2

Assessed value: $1.66 million

Sold by: Bayview Mini Storage, LLC. to Amerco Real Estate Company

Description: A 4-acre storage facility located at 4107 W Highway 16, in the middle of the Highway 3/16 junction in Gorst.

Notes: Buyer Amerco Real Estate is the holding company for U-Haul. It appears U-Haul has a moving store and other upgrades planned.

Former Boater’s World — $565,000

Sale date: Feb. 3

Assessed value: $873,160

Sold by: Noffre, LLLP. to Archie May, LLC.

Description: A three-quarter-acre property and 6,600-square-foot building at 5251 Highway 303.

Notes: Boater’s World locations were liquidated as part of the first Ritz Camera bankruptcy in 2009. The new owner is based in Bellevue.

Dollar Tree property — $2.83 million

Sale date: Feb. 6

Assessed value: $1.39 million

Sold by: Patriot Equity Partners, LLC. to Drebick Investments, LLC.

Description: A 2-acre parcel and 18,600-square-foot building at 1600 NE Furneys Lane, off Highway 303.

Notes: This is the second time this property has changed hands in the past five months.

Cidery gives fresh spin to Kitsap craft brew scene

IMG_20150103_143133

In a county bursting with microbreweries and distilleries, a cidery was only a matter of time.

Homebrewers Joel Atteberry and Melissa Kittrell have stepped up to fill that fresh niche in the local craft beverage market. They recently founded the Bushel & Barrel Ciderhouse, a small cider making operation just north of Poulsbo.

logo with no backgroundWhile still in its “infancy,” Bushel & Barrel’s hard cider is starting to pop up in stores and drinking establishments around the county.

Kittrell said starting the cidery was a way of becoming more involved in the community. Sales of specialty ciders will benefit local charities.

Their business motto is “Micro cidery… macro cause.”

“I have always wanted to find a way to give back to the community that I love so much,” Kittrell said in an email. “The ciderhouse seemed to be a fun way that also added to the growing craft brewing culture that Poulsbo is embracing.”

Bushel & Barrel is making cider in a traditional style.

IMG_20141218_171639“I am striving to create a cider that is similar to and English style cider in craft, but exhibits an off dry and tart flavor from an abundance of granny smith apples,” Kittrell said.

Farmhouse Apple Cider is the cidery’s flagship variety. Kittrell is also producing limited specialty batches, including a hopped cider, and an oak and ginger cider.

Bushel & Barrel doesn’t have a tasting room yet, but you can find the cider on tap at Hare and Hounds Public House and Slippery Pig Brewery in Poulsbo; the Wig Wam Pub in Gorst; and Slaughter County Brewing and the Central Docks in Port in Port Orchard.

Marina Market in Poulsbo carries 22 oz. bottles.

Check the cidery’s page on Facebook for information and updates.

Courtesy images.

Haggen hosting meet-and-greet Thursday

Haggen’s first two Kitsap County grocery stores have been up and running for about 10 days now. 

IMG_7058In an effort to get to know their new neighborhood better, Haggen representatives are hosting a community meeting Thursday in Port Orchard.

Haggen is holding these meetings in all the new markets it’s moving into this year.

According a news release, Haggen wants to hear from small farmers and producers interested in selling wares in the stores, nonprofits interested in Haggen’s charitable work, and small businesses interested in co-marketing campaigns, as well as community members.

The meeting is scheduled for 5-6 p.m. Thursday at the Port Orchard Pavilion, 701 SW Bay Street.

Haggen is taking over 146 former Albertsons and Safeway locations this year, including three in Kitsap County.

The Bellingham-based grocery chain converted a Silverdale Albertsons and a Port Orchard Safeway to the Haggen Northwest Fresh brand on March 7. An East Bremerton Albertsons will follow in June.

A Gig Harbor Safeway became a Haggen on March 11. A community meeting is scheduled for 5-6 p.m. March 23 at The Inn at Gig Harbor, 3211 56th Street NW.

If you’ve already been shopping at the Haggen stores I would love to know what you think. Drop a comment below.

Millions of Premera customers affected by cyber attack

Hackers broke into Premera Blue Cross computer systems, potentially accessing personal information for 11 million customers, including 6 million in Washington State.

According to Premera, the initial cyber attack occurred nearly a year ago, in May of 2014. Premera discovered the attack on Jan. 29. The company informed the FBI and is coordinating its investigation with the bureau.

Premera announced the security breach to the public Tuesday and created a website with information for customers.

The carrier has begun mailing out letters to affected customers and is offering them two free years of credit monitoring and identity protection services.

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler posted a response to the announcement Tuesday, saying he was concerned about the amount of time it took Premera to report the breach to his office.

The full announcement from Premera is posted below:  Continue reading

Foundation posts list of causes seeking funding

20090423-200349-pic-545932484_5850534_ver1.0_640_480

Each year Kitsap Community Foundation solicits grant requests, and each year it receives far more proposals than it can afford to fund.

To help bring exposure, and potentially dollars, to these local causes,  the foundation has posted 50 grant applications on its website for the public to view. Donors are invited to contribute to the campaigns of their choice.

kcf_logoThe proposals span all nonprofit fields, from arts and culture, to human services, health, the environment and education.

“Our mission is to connect people who care to causes that matter,” foundation Executive Director Kol Medina said in a news release.“By posting these grant applications online and encouraging the public to help fund them, we are directly completing our mission.”

Medina said the foundation received requests totaling $226,000, more than double the amount the foundation will be able to fund through its endowment.

Grant application summaries will be showcased on the foundation’s website through April 6. You can view the applications here, along with instructions for donating.

Kitsap Great Give, a 24-hour fundraising drive for local nonprofits, is scheduled for May 5.

Molina will cover virtual urgent care

CHI Franciscan Health, parent company of Harrison Medical Center, recently extended its virtual urgent care service to Kitsap County. 

Each virtual visit costs $35, a fee not covered by health plans, at least until this month.

9730473231_c67d3d4aee_kMolina Healthcare announced March 4 it will begin covering the urgent care service for its Medicaid (Apple Health) clients who are already established with a CHI Franciscan primary care provider.

Franciscan and Molina estimated 16,000 members will gain access to free online urgent care.

“Establishing a partnership with Molina to cover Virtual Urgent Care is a big step forward for CHI Franciscan Health and for the virtual health care industry as a whole,” CHI Franciscan Chief Medical Officer Mark Adams said in a news release.

CHI Franciscan launched the virtual urgent care in September 2013 and extended the service to Kitsap in January. About 200 patients per month use the online portal.