A place to grow in downtown Washougal

'Incubator' building will offer opportunities for large and small businesses

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A vacant lot, located at 1887 Main St., in downtown Washougal, will become the site of a two-story office and retail "incubator" building in February 2012.

Companies that would like to gauge their potential success in the Camas-Washougal market could soon have a new address in downtown Washougal.

The site of an “incubator” building is currently being prepared for construction at 1887 Main St. The building is expected to be ready for tenants in February 2012.

Wes Hickey, owner of Lone Wolf Investments, LLC, said the structure will provide flexible space for smaller and/or start-up companies as well as larger, established businesses.

First floor retail space as small as 550 square feet will be available, while the second floor will offer space increments of approximately 500 to 600 square feet with an option to combine spaces. The second floor will have total space of approximately 4,500 square feet.

“The office space features floor to ceiling south facing windows along with skylights,” Hickey said. “We have not set the lease rates yet, but leases as short as 12 months will be available. The building will provide an opportunity for businesses to test the local market without a large up front capital requirement.”

He said some businesses have already expressed interest in the incubator building, but the leasing process has not started.

The project architect is Works Partnership Architecture, while R&H Construction, of Vancouver, is the general contractor.

Meanwhile, several retail and office spaces remain available to lease in Hickey’s other development — Washougal Town Square. The $13 million mixed-use building is located at 1700 Main St.

Hickey is purposely constructing the incubator building while there are still vacancies in the existing development.

“It is a risk that in an ideal world we would not be taking, but we are committed to the success of downtown Washougal and believe in the future,” he said. “The incubator building will provide options for businesses that because of size, tenant improvement requirements, etcetera, might find the Town Square spaces unsuitable.

“It takes time, hard work, and risk capital to successfully revitalize an area, and the most difficult part is generating initial momentum,” Hickey added. “We have been in a severe economic recession the last three years, but Washougal Town Square and the downtown have added more square footage of new businesses to the city in the previous 24 months than any other area of the city. If we wait until Washougal Town Square is entirely leased up to start another project, there is risk of gaining initial momentum and then losing it.”

The Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association recently opened an office in Washougal Town Square. Other tenants include Dayley Dance Academy, Freiwald Financial Planning, Lone Wolf Investments, LLC, Massage with Style and Washougal Sport and Spine, Inc. Papa’s Ice Cream and Hearth Wood Oven Bistro are also in the building, which is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified.

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