Monthly Archives: March 2016

Port Orchard coffee shop gets flashy new look

The former Cutters Point coffee shop in Port Orchard debuted a flashy new look this month, with help from a Seattle neon company.

The Bethel Road shop has rebranded as YES Please! Coffee. For an eye-catching sign, the shop hired Western Neon, a company that’s created a number of iconic Seattle landmarks, including a remake of the Rainier Beer “R.”

12439380_10154018538452042_7126747352589088246_n“We have always hoped business would put more energy into Port Orchard,” YES Please! co-owner Devon Raney said in an email. “In an effort to stay current and put our money where our mouth is, we looked to Seattle for the trendy top end sign companies. Western Neon was the obvious choice.”

Western Neon documented the creation of the sign and posted a time-lapse video on YouTube.

Raney said the “YES Please!” name reflects an outlook on life he and his family embraced after Raney lost his vision nine years ago. 

“‘Yes’ to Port Orchard, to work, family and friends,” Raney said. “‘Please’ is the approach to humbleness that can disappear with success.”

You can find Yes Please! Coffee and its new neon sign at 4720 Bethel Road SE. See the shop’s Facebook page for more details. 

Image via Facebook

Bremerton Gardens apartments sell for $13M

2Q==

A Los Angeles-based real estate company purchased the Bremerton Gardens apartments for $13 million, according to a Friday news release.

The 20-acre, 182-unit Parkside Drive complex was listed for sale two years ago. The transaction closed Monday, according to public documents.

The buyer, New Standard Equities, plans to spend $3.5 million upgrading the grounds and World War II-era buildings.

9k=Planned improvements include new paths, signage, landscaping and gazebos. New façades will “evoke the vibe of a 1940s village,” according to the release. Interior updates will include hardwood flooring, new cabinetry, appliances, paint and countertops.

New Standard Equities executives were attracted to Bremerton’s strong military employment base.

“Furthermore, this property is in a prime, irreplaceable location, offering residents beautiful, unobstructed views of Puget Sound,” CEO Edward Ring said in the release. “It is also near great dining and entertainment, and a short walk to the ferry.”

Bremerton Gardens includes 113 one-bedroom apartments, 63 two-bedroom apartments, five three-bedroom apartments. The complex is served by 242 parking spaces and features a laundry center and dog park.

Redwood-Kairos Real Estate Partners supplied joint venture equity for the transaction, according to the release. Freddie Mac provided financing through CBRE, and Jim Jensen and Kenny Dudunakis of Berkadia represented both buyer and seller in the sale.

Bremerton landlords are enjoying a hot rental market this year. The apartment vacancy rate for Bremerton was about 2.6 percent at the end of 2015. The average apartment rent in Kitsap increased 15 percent in 2015, according to Apartment Insights Washington.

Bremerton Gardens wasn’t the first major apartment complex to change hands this year. In January a Seattle real estate firm bought Bremerton’s Admiral Manor apartments for $5.83 million.

Silverdale Chipotle opening pushed to Saturday

chipotleKitsap County’s first Chipotle restaurant is now scheduled to open at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12, according to a spokeswoman.

The Trails at Silverdale store had been scheduled to debut March 10. Total Wine & More opened its Trails location as planned. 

Farm Kitchen is phasing out its popular First Saturday breakfasts

farmkitchen04_21695950_ver1.0_640_480Farm Kitchen’s First Saturday Breakfast is a monthly tradition for many North Kitsap residents. This spring, that tradition will come to a close.

Farm Kitchen announced this week it will discontinue its popular monthly breakfasts after May.

Co-owner Anne Thatcher said Farm Kitchen’s other ventures are blossoming and they no longer have the energy and resources to keep the breakfasts going.

“It’s just time to close that chapter in our business,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher and co-owner Hollis Fay began offering breakfasts at the Port Gamble Road farmyard 17 years ago. These days the event draws as many as 400 guests each month.

farmkitchen06_21695952_ver1.0_640_480“The hard part is how very much we’ll miss seeing all our regulars on a regular basis,” Thatcher said. “That’s the sad thing to us.”

The final two breakfasts will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, April 2 and May 7. No reservations needed.

Breakfast regulars can still find Farm Kitchen fare at coffee shops and cafés in the area (there’s a listing here). The farm also rents out a commercial kitchen, and hosts weddings and other events.

Thatcher said its possible Farm Kitchen will offer occasional breakfasts in the future. You can check the the business’s page on Facebook for updates.

Read our feature on the Farm Kitchen breakfasts here.  Photos by Meegan Reid / Kitsap Sun.

 

Real estate update: Low inventory, high demand still define market

This map shows the percent change in active home listings from February 2015 to February 2016 for each Kitsap submarket. You can hover your mouse over the map to see how active listings fluctuated during the past four years.

Kitsap homebuyers were still picking through a thin selection of houses February, but the lack of inventory didn’t dampen sales.

About 600 homes were listed for sale in the county last month, 28 percent fewer than in February 2015, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service. (You can see where inventory declined the most using the interactive map embedded above.)

real estateSales activity in February was still stronger than a year ago. NWMLS reported 483 pending sales (up 9 percent) and 263 closed sales (up 13 percent) for the month.

The homes that sold in February were on the market for an average of 65 days, which was 26 fewer days than in February 2015, according to stats made available by Pacific Northwest Title. Continue reading

Report: Albertsons buying more Haggen stores, but not in Kitsap

B0012313929--362800

Update: Haggen confirmed the deal in a news release Friday.

Albertsons is preparing to gobble up more stores from Haggen, but not the shuttered locations in Siverdale or East Bremerton.

According to reports from several news sources, the grocery giant is finalizing a deal to acquire Haggen’s remaining “core stores,” which include the original Haggen stores in Whatcom County. (The Oregonian posted a full list.)

haggans08_15364113_ver1.0_640_480The news was attributed to a grocery workers union and was not confirmed by Haggen, Albertsons, or the Federal Trade Commission.

The list of stores being sold does not include former Haggen locations in Silverdale or East Bremerton, which were designated as “non-core stores.”

Haggen already sold off most its non-core stores — including one in Port Orchard — during bankruptcy auctions last fall. The stores in Silverdale and East Bremerton didn’t sell. Both closed in late November and remain empty.

Haggen has not responded to my requests for information about plans for its discarded Kitsap locations.

The grocer owns the property off Wheaton Way in East Bremerton. It leased the Bucklin Hill Road space in Silverdale from a real estate investment group.

If Albertsons does buy Haggen’s core business, it will add another twist to an already improbable retail saga.

A year ago Haggen, a small, Bellingham-based chain, acquired 146 stores from Albertsons and Safeway as the mega grocers finalized a merger agreement. The FTC required the sale to prevent the combined Albertsons/Safeway chain from gaining monopolies in some markets.

hagganlead_15364107_ver1.0_640_480Included in the divestiture were Albertsons stores in Silverdale and East Bremerton, and a Safeway in Port Orchard.

Haggen’s rapid expansion scheme proved devastating. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September.

Albertsons bought back many of its old stores from Haggen last fall, including the Port Orchard location, which will reopen as a Safeway sometime this year (an opening date has not been released).

Now Albertsons is poised to absorb the remainder of Haggen’s crumbling empire.

37 vying for final retail marijuana licenses

The state has nine marijuana licenses left to issue in Kitsap County and nearly 40 applicants are vying to receive them.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board opened a new application period for retail licenses in October, as the state laid the ground work for rolling the medical marijuana industry into the recreational system.

The board announced Monday it would stop taking applications at the end of March.

As of Tuesday, 37 retail applications were pending in Kitsap (see map above). The state will allow 20 total retail outlets in the county. Eleven licenses have already been issued, leaving nine to dole out.

Here’s a breakdown of applications and license allotments by jurisdiction:

Applications are being processed under three priority tiers, according to a Liquor and Cannabis Board release:

  • Priority 1: Applicants who applied for a marijuana retail license prior to July 1, 2014, operated (or were employed by) a collective garden prior to January 1, 2013, have maintained a state and local business license and have a history of paying state taxes and fees.
  • Priority 2: Applicants who operated (or were employed by) a collective garden prior to January 1, 2013, have maintained a state and local business license and have a history of paying state taxes and fees.
  • Priority 3: applicants are those who do not meet priority 1 or 2 criteria.

Since October, the board has received 162 priority 1 applications, 63 priority 2 applications and 879 priority 3 applications with 166 still awaiting prioritization, according to the release.

I corrected the license allocation graphic in this post to reflect a second Bainbridge Island application. Both island applications are for the same Miller Bay Road address.

Newlife sharing plans for Silverdale center

newlife
An artist’s rendering shows the former Regal Cinemas building from the south, with the corner of the YMCA building visible on the left. Image courtesy Newlife.

The curtains closed for good Jan. 15 at Silverdale’s Regal Cinemas, but the building won’t be left idle for long.

Newlife church will start work in late April on a project to transform the 14,000-square-foot Poplars Avenue building into a gathering space and training center.

regal.cinemaNewlife bought the Regal property late last year with plans to create a centralized community hub. The church hired Rice Fergus Miller to draw up plans for the center, and chose Fairbank Construction as its builder.

Newlife’s plans promise to enliven a drab, boxy building.

Inside, the ground floor of the former cinema will be roughly divided in half, with one side will be dedicated to a 4,800-square-foot auditorium. The other side will be converted to classroom and office space.

Upstairs will be an area for kids, and a community conference room with large windows to allow views in and out.

A main entrance will face south, toward the YMCA.

Newlife will hold three open houses at the building in April to give visitors a feel for the existing building and what the church has planned.

“We want people to get a sense of what it could become, and share our vision for that space,” Mark Middleton with Newlife said.

The open houses are scheduled from 7-9 p.m. April 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 16, and 2-5 p.m. April 17. Tours will be given.

The property is located at 9923 Poplars Ave. in Silverdale.

Bank foreclosing on Poulsbo commercial land

union.bank.foreclosure
Click to enlarge

A bank has begun the process of foreclosing on a 13-acre commercial property near Poulsbo’s Central Market.

MUFG Union Bank filed a complaint in Kitsap Superior Court earlier this month seeking to foreclose on the property and appoint a receiver.

The undeveloped land is located on the east side of 10th Avenue, just south of Central Market (see inset image).

The property is owned by the Hern family, former owners of the Courtesy Auto chain of dealerships on Viking Avenue.

According to court documents, the Herns borrowed $10.3 million from Frontier Bank in 2009. Frontier failed a year later and Union Bank acquired its assets. Union Bank is seeking compensation for $11.24 million in unpaid loan principal, interest and other fees.

All of the Courtesy Auto properties were sold off in recent years. The 10th Avenue parcel is the Hern’s last Poulsbo property.

Zoned commercial as part of the city’s Highway 305 Corridor district, the land has an assessed value of $977,000.

Union Bank is the same institution that forced the sale of undeveloped commercial parcels in Poulsbo’s College Marketplace last year. The bank took ownership of the land after no other bids were entered.