Monthly Archives: May 2015

Avalara’s McFarlane named ‘CEO of the Year’

Bainbridge Island-based Avalara has been making waves lately, and the tech world has taken notice.

News site GeekWire named Avalara executive Scott McFarlane “CEO of the Year” at its 2015 awards ceremony last week.

The site noted the $100 million investment Avalara recently received, which spurred even more growth at the 800-employee business.

According to GeekWire, McFarlane studied economics at Claremont McKenna College in California, and founded a fitness equipment company with his college roommate. He’s been with Avalara since its founding in 2004.

“I might be the luckiest person on earth,” McFarlane said in his acceptance speech. “I have great investors and great Avalarians that bleed orange every single day. This is for you guys.”

Avalara specializes in sales tax compliance software.

Kitsap home prices may finally be headed up

For a while it seemed Kitsap’s real estate market was defying the basic law of supply and demand.

Real Estate for sale in Bremerton on Wednesday, January 16, 2012. MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUNSales were high, inventory was low, but somehow prices hardly seemed to budge.

That trend appeared to changed over the last couple of months.

The median price for a home in Kitsap was about 7 percent higher in March of this year than in March 2014, according to numbers from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

April saw a more convincing 9 percent year-over-year price jump (see chart below).

The median price of a home (including condos) topped $250,000 in April, already rivaling last year’s peak summer prices. Bainbridge Island set the pace with a median price of $641,500.

The median asking price for active listings in April was $297,950, 11 percent higher than April 2014.

Here’s a peek at price trends:

Familiar sales and inventory trends continued through April. Pending sales activity remained strong and the inventory of available homes remained extremely low.

The months supply of homes — the number of months it would take to sell off all the homes on the market if no listings were added — slipped to 2.38.

That’s a low supply, but actually just about average for Western Washington at the moment. King County recorded a 1.3-month supply in April, as Northwest MLS reported record pending sales across the region.

Here’s a graphical look at sales and inventory trends in Kitsap:

Fundraiser launched for West Sound CoderDojo

CodeDojo_17743908_ver1.0_640_480Last Saturday I sat in on the first meeting of West Sound CoderDojo.

The group was organized by West Sound Technology Association to offer computer programming classes to kids and their parents, as part of the global CoderDojo movement. 

The Saturday classes are free for participants and staffed by volunteers, but of course they cost money to host.

CoderDojo meetings require large gathering spaces with Wi-Fi connectivity, and the group tries to provide loaner laptops for kids who don’t have them.

West Sound CoderDojo just launched a GoFundMe campaign to help fund their courses. The group is hoping to raise $10,000. The campaign is posted here.

Salon evicted by bank finds new home

Back in January we wrote about First Citizens Bank evicting tenants of a Port Orchard building following a foreclosure.

TommyCsBuilding02_12691341_ver1.0_640_480The eviction forced popular restaurant Tommy C’s to relocate, and led to the shuttering of Sk8Town.

Another business located in the Piperberry Way building has found a new home in an just down the road. Helen Kestle, owner of Fab U Look makeup and hair salon, reports she has reopened at 1541 Piperberry Way.

Kestle said she considered relocating to Silverdale but quickly realized how loyal her customers were to South Kitsap.

“I’ve learned that Port Orchard people are very dedicated to supporting their town,” she said. “I’m a Port Orchard girl.”

Kestle can be reached at

Tommy C’s, rebranded as Cash Brewing Company, is in a soft opening phase in Silverdale, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. 

Triton Marine awarded $10M Navy job

tritonTriton Marine Construction Corp. of Bremerton has been selected to complete $9.9 million in work at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

The work will be completed under a previously-awarded contract for construction of a dry dock water treatment system, according to a release from the Department of Defense.

Triton will build infrastructure at three dry docks necessary to bring the shipyard into compliance with environmental standards for capturing and treating water used for industrial processes.

The Navy received four proposals for the work. Construction will be completed in the fall of 2016.

The Bremerton contractor recently moved its headquarters to Constance Road in the Port of Bremerton’s Olympic View Industrial Park. Triton moved to Kitsap from Houston in 1999.

Bainbridge nursing home changes hands

Island Health and Rehabilitation on Bainbridge is under new ownership.

EnsignGroup_logo296WThe for-profit, 69-bed skilled nursing home was purchased Friday by The Ensign Group, Inc.  Ensign bought both the nursing home operation and real estate at 835 Madison Ave. N, according to a news release.

The sale hadn’t been recorded with the county as of Monday and a sales price wasn’t available.

Ensign owns 150 health care facilities in the western United States, including nine in Washington. The Bainbridge Island nursing home will be operated under Pennant, Ensign’s subsidiary in the Northwest.

“This Bainbridge team of caregivers has offered devoted service to patients and family members for many years and we look forward to working together as we strive to deliver top-notch care to this community,” Pennant President Spencer Burton said in the release.

Island Health and Rehabilitation was previously owned by Extendicare, which still owns Bremerton Health and Rehabilitation and Forest Ridge Health and Rehabilitation.

Island Health and Rehab underwent a recent revamp to improve its quality ratings.  The nursing home currently has a five-star “much above average” rating on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website.

You can find quality ratings and deficiency reports for all Kitsap County nursing homes in the Sun’s nursing home database. 

Grocery store, Goodwill and a motel among March commercial sales

The $9.23 million acquisition of a former Silverdale Albertsons headlined Kitsap County commercial property sales in March.

The Bucklin Hill Road grocery store changed hands March 6 and was rebranded as a Haggen.

Properties home to a Silverdale Goodwill store and Bremerton Super 8 motel also changed hands in March. A total of 22 commercial parcels sold that month for a combined $22.7 million, according to  county assessor’s documents.

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

Silverdale Albertsons (now Haggen) — $9.23 million

Sale date: March 6

Assessed value: $7.06 million

IMG_7058Sold by: ABS WA O, LLC. to SPIRIT SPE HG 2015-1, LLC.

Description: A 5.4-acre property and 56,000-square-foot store at 2222 NW Bucklin Hill Road.

Notes: The buyer was a Spirit Realty Capital company, which leased the property to Haggen.

The Silverdale Albertsons was one of three Kitsap stores Haggen is acquiring this year as part of a divestiture required for the mammoth Albertsons/Safeway merger.

The Silverdale store and a Port Orchard Safeway changed over to the Haggen brand in March. The Port Orchard store is located in Bethel Junction, which recently sold to a California company.

An East Bremerton Albertsons is set to transition to Haggen in June.

Silverdale Goodwill — $6.63 million

Sale date: March 15

Assessed value: $4.98 million

Sold by: Kirby Properties, LLC. to Seattle Goodwill Industries

Description: A 2.2-acre property and 61,000-square-foot retail center at 10001 Mickelberry Road NW.

Notes: It appears Goodwill bought the property from Daniel Kirby of Olympia. The nonprofit retailer opened on Mickelberry Road in 2009. The building was previously home to Linens ‘N’ Things.

Bremerton Super 8 — $1.95 million

Sale date: March 2

Assessed value: $2.6 million

Sold by: The Peninsula Group, LLC. to Sumit, LLC.

Description: A motel on 1.3 acres at 5008 Kitsap Way in West Bremerton.

Bayside Storage, Annapolis — $634,000

Sale date: March 30

Assessed value: $304,800

Sold by: Bayside Storage, LLC. to Ryan Goding

Description: A storage facility on one-third of an acre at 1960 Bay Street.

Notes: Bayside Storage appeared in our pages recently for hosting an eclectic flea market on weekends.

Former Nite Shift, Bremerton — $250,000

nite.shiftSale date: March 19

Assessed value: $294,000

Sold by: 242 Burwell, LLC. to Denny Hill Residential, LLC.

Description: A 5,000-square-foot former tavern built in 1956. Located at 242 Burwell Street in downtown.

Notes: Buyers have applied for permits to replace the old tavern with multi-family housing.

Moondogs Too, Port Orchard — $383,000

Sale date: March 8

Assessed value: $285,000

Sold by: DBSC Holdings, LLC. to Fore Investments, LLC.

Description: A 4,200-square-foot bar and grill built in 1900 and adjacent patio on Bay Street.

Notes: Moondogs was put up for sale a year ago due to the passing of former owner Darryl Baldwin.