The downtown Washougal core is on the cusp of some changes and additions designed to attract more people to live, work and play in the historic area.
The 2100 block of Main Street is one example of the developments destined to change the streetscape.
Neil and Corrine Lorch hope to renovate their building at 2103 Main St., and utilize the space for a retail business, offices and possibly a restaurant on the first floor, and three apartments on the second floor.
The Lorches plan to live in one of the apartments.
“We sold our house in Washougal to buy this place,” Neil said. “It’s a cool town, so we want to be a part of it.”
No specific timeline has been established for the renovation project, which is currently in the architectural design stage.
“We will try to save as many things as possible and revive it,” Neil said regarding the structure built in 1908 for a fraternal organization, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
“Since then, it has been occupied by a bakery, church, hardware store and custom cabinet shop,” Corrine said.
The Lorches purchased the 10,318 square foot building on .23 acres for $271,000 in May 2015. Greg Goforth, a commercial and residential real estate broker with Windermere Crest, of Camas, represented the seller, Hewitt Research Foundation.
Hewitt Homeschooling is a current tenant.
Jessica Herceg, a planner with the city of Washougal, said there is a building permit for commercial repairs of the structure and a right-of-way permit for sidewalk closures associated with the repair work.
The Lorches are excited about the proximity of their property to 2036 Main St., which could be future city park land.
In December 2015, the Washougal City Council approved a purchase and sale agreement, subject to contingencies, for a potential property acquisition at that address.
An appraisal will be conducted during the feasibility-contingency period. Following the appraisal process, the $188,000 purchase will go back to City Council for final approval.
The duplex, approximately 1,845 square feet on .11 acres, was assessed for $145,500 in 2015. Walter Lester III purchased the property for $115,000 in October 2003.
Plans for the duplex, built in 1910, have not been determined.
Mayor Sean Guard has said the property could potentially be added to other parcels in the future to create a larger park.
Lone Wolf Development considers options
A vacant lot at 20th and Main streets is being considered for a mixed-use project. The land, next to Washougal Chiropractic & Massage Center and across from The Landing Bar and Grill, is owned by Lone Wolf Investments, LLC.
The potential project would involve construction of a two-story building, with 2,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and nine apartments on the second floor.
Wes Hickey, owner of Lone Wolf, has said several things are needed in order to move forward including a better understanding of the city’s future plans.
“We are still doing some preliminary evaluation, but should know within the next six weeks if we are moving ahead,” he said. “If we do, it will be built this year.”
Hickey said the possibility of constructing roundabouts along the State Route 14 corridor at 15th and 32nd streets would be a positive development.
He does not feel the same way about major interchanges and frontage roads.
“They would further separate the community from the river, change the primary access to and from Highway 14 from Washougal River Road and 32nd Street to 27th Street, impact wetlands and habitat areas and require the construction of retaining walls that in some cases would be 30 feet high,” Hickey said.