Monthly Archives: June 2015

Couple involved in Westsound Bank failure sentenced

Picture_7__5660071_ver1.0_640_480A developer linked to the collapse of Bremerton’s Westsound Bank was sentenced to five years in prison Friday and ordered to repay more than $10 million fraudulently obtained from the bank.

Aleksandr Kravchenko, 36, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and filing a false tax return, according to the Seattle U.S. Attorney’s Office. His wife, Galina Kravchenko, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return. She was sentenced to five years in prison.

The Kravchenkos engaged in a scheme in which they submitted dozens of false construction loan applications to Westsound Bank, working in collusion with a loan officer. Investigators determined the bank lost $10.7 million through bad loans as a result of the scheme.

The Kravchenkos diverted money from the loans for personal use, and collected fees.

Westsound Bank failed in 2009, costing the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund $106 million. Kitsap Bank took over Westsound’s operations.

The FDIC sued 11 former Westsound Bank officers for gross negligence in 2011, and settled the case a year later. 

The Kravchenkos fled to Moldova in 2009. Galina was arrested in Moldova in December and extradited to the United States. Alkesandr returned to the U.S. in February.

The couple were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

New Starbucks store is coming to Kingston


A coffee shop planned for Kingston will feature a familiar mermaid logo.

A permit application has been filed for an 1,800-square-foot Starbucks store and drive-thru near the intersection of Highway 104 and Miller Bay Road, according to county records.

The store will be part of a retail complex we reported on back in March. The development is planned for an undeveloped parcel next to Rite Aid. The site should position the coffee shop to take advantage of busy commuter traffic.

The Kingston property is owned by a developer who is also bringing a Starbucks store to the corner of Silverdale Way and Bucklin Hill Road.

Kitsap County home prices keep rising

Homes in Kitsap County sold for more last month than at any time in the past three years.

The median price for houses and condominiums sold in May was $265,000, a 15 percent gain from May 2014, according to numbers released Thursday by Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The May median price actually topped last year’s peak of $255,050, recorded in July.

The median price for a home on Bainbridge Island was $618,500 in May. West Bremerton remained the county’s most affordable enclave, with a median price of $142,500.

Here’s a graphical look at price trends in the county:

While prices kept climbing, pending sales (554) and closed sales (353) essentially leveled off between April and May.

The inventory of available homes remained low (about 28 percent lower than a year ago) but showed signs of improvement. The number of active listings climbed from 840 in April to 950 in May, marking the first noteworthy gain since August of last year.

The months supply of homes — the number of months it would take to sell off all available homes if no new properties were listed — jumped to 2.69. For comparison, King County’s reported a 1.2 months supply of homes. 

Food safety: Restaurant scores for March

Jacks7_16259067_ver1.0_640_480Correction: I originally referred to these as May scores. Inspections were conducted in March.

Below are the March restaurant inspection scores distributed by the Kitsap Public Health District.

The health district keeps tabs on more than 1,000 establishments in Kitsap. Each is usually inspected twice a year. Inspectors make sure food is handled properly from prep to serving.

The district works with operators to correct deficiencies. Grades from the inspections are made available to the public.

The inspection report from March is posted below. For even more detailed safety information on a restaurant, you can use the health district’s handy database search.

March restaurant scores

Marijuana retailer approved for Bainbridge

8040 Day Road_1430931876192_17940777_ver1.0_640_480
A company called Paper and Leaf was given the green light this week to become Bainbridge Island’s first recreational marijuana retailer.

The state Liquor Control Board approved the shop’s license Tuesday. The business will open at 8040 Day Road, sharing a building with the island’s first licensed marijuana grow. 

The Day Road industrial area is the only area of Bainbridge where marijuana businesses are allowed.

Brendan Hill and Steven Kessler are partners in the retail shop. Kessler previously ran a pet training business but is now focused on getting the marijuana store up and running.

“Both Brendan and I live on the island, we have kids on the island, and we felt it was very important that folks like us open this store,” Kessler told the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal in May. “Our entire business model is about making this legitimate.”

As it stands now, the state plans to authorize only one marijuana retailer on the island. License allocations could change as medical marijuana providers are rolled into the recreational system. 

Paper and Leaf is the twelfth recreational marijuana business approved in Kitsap. Expand the map above, or click here, to see all the I-502 business locations.

Mora Iced Creamery opening new factory

Mora Iced Creamery owner Jerry Perez in the new production facility that is under construction in Poulsbo on Friday, March 27, 2015. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)
Mora Iced Creamery owner Jerry Perez in the new production facility. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)

Update: Apparently the ribbon cutting ceremony is invite-only. Apologies to anyone who put it on their calendar. 

After 10 years in business, Mora Iced Creamery is ready to go big.

The small-batch, artisnal ice cream maker will debut a new Poulsbo factory on Saturday.

At 10,000-square-feet, the facility isn’t huge. It is, however, a significant step in the evolution of the company.

Mora plans to begin offering franchises this summer, with the aim of creating 40 to 50 new locations over the next five years. The Viking Avenue factory will help Mora keep up with demand from new shops, while supplying wholesale to grocery stores and restaurants.

Mora’s original Bainbridge Island production facility could only meet the needs of the three shops in Poulsbo, Kingston and Winslow.

The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal recently wrote about Mora’s expansion plans. You can find that story here.

Bainbridge nursing home tops April commercial sales

A Bainbridge Island nursing home and a waterfront shopping center in Port Orchard were among the top commercial property sales of  April.

A total of 22 commercial parcels changed hands that month for a combined $8.57 million, according to county assessor’s documents.

Here’s a look at some of the notable sales from April:

Island Health and Rehab — $2 million

Sale date: April 30

Assessed value: $2.55 million

Sold by: Extendicare Homes Inc. to Bainbridge Health Holdings Inc.

Description: A 1.85-acre property and 69-bed nursing home at 835 Madison Ave. in Winslow.

Notes: The company that bought the home is The Ensign Group, which operates about 150 health care facilities. Island Health and Rehab will be operated under Pennant, Ensign’s subsidiary in the Northwest. Read an earlier post about the sale here.

Port Orchard shopping center — $1.65 million

Sale date: April 27

Assessed value: $1.33 million

Sold by: Port Orchard Shopping Center to Eagle 253 LLC.

Description: A 1.57 acre waterfront property with a 26,000-square-foot shopping center on the 1200 block of Bay Street.

Notes: Eagle 253 is a Bruce Titus company. The property is next door to the Bruce Titus Ford dealership. Tenants at the shopping center include a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.

Former Poulsbo Chevron — $1.31 million

GasStationMug_jpg_15114694_ver1.0_640_480Sale date: April 20

Assessed value: $895,000

Sold by: Raab and Raab Properties, LLC. to Car Wash Enterprises, Inc.

Description: A three-quarter-acre parcel at the southeast corner of Hostmark Street and Highway 305. A Chevron station and convenience store were recently demolished.

Notes: Car Wash Enterprises does business as Brown Bear Car Wash. Brown Bear already operated the gas station and store at the site. They closed the Poulsbo Chevron, along with one on Bainbridge Island, earlier this year. Redevelopment for the two Highway 305 properties are unclear at this point.

Hwy 303 auto shop — $1 million

Sale date: April 28

Assessed value: $1.18 million

Sold by: Gary Parker, as trustee for Vicki Parker, to Knowlton LLC.

Description: A little less than an acre and a 10,000-square-foot shop and retail space at 5921 Highway 303.

Notes: It appears the owners of LK’s Auto Repair are bought the location where they were doing business.