Black Pearl presents an opportunity

“From tragedy sometimes comes opportunity,” and the current owners of the partially completed building that was supposed to become the community’s signature Black Pearl on the Columbia restaurant hope this becomes this statement will soon ring true.

When it was announced in December 2009 that the old Parker House restaurant in Washougal would be razed, and the new three-story dining and event facility erected in its place, the community and local leaders celebrated.

The hope was that it would not only provide local residents and visitors with a new quality local business, but that it would also spark development on surrounding properties. Citizens even turned out months later to watch as the old building was torn down.

Tragically, however, Bill Sherertz, the man with the vision, enthusiasm and financing to make this dream project a reality died earlier this year. Quite understandably his widow, Kimberly, doesn’t feel she is able to take on the massive project alone. She is hoping someone will be inspired to lease or purchase the 12,000 square foot building, for a use that could include restaurant and/or office spaces, or even penthouse suites.

Communicating and selling that kind of inspiration to the right people could become one of the first tasks taken on by the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, which the cities of Camas and Washougal, and the Port of Camas-Washougal commission are right now taking steps to form.

In an article in today’s Post-Record, a comment from Ron Frederiksen, president and chief executive officer of RSV Building Solutions, describes the situation well.

“Oftentimes in tragedy, there comes opportunity. Bill’s death, while really tragic, created an opportunity for other people who might have a vision for that area.”

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