Jeremy Mansius spent his adolescence helping his dad run a HobbyTown franchise in Portland.
When he went on to pursue a degree in finance, he thought he’d left the radio-controlled cars and science kits behind him.
“I grew up thinking, ‘I’m never going to work at this store. I’m never going to work at HobbyTown.’ And now I own one,” Mansius said with a laugh.
Mansius and his father, who acts as a silent partner, bought Center Towers Shopping Center at 1360 N. Louisiana St. in Kennewick last year for $2.4 million. It’s located behind Olive Garden.
“Right when we bought it, the previous owner had just filled (up the spaces),” Mansius said. “Including me, there’s eight tenants.”
The businesses include companies such as a nail shop, hair salon, restaurant, insurance company, CPA and bakery.
Mansius’ father owns several HobbyTown stores throughout the Northwest, including in Vancouver, Everett, Silverdale and Redmond.
“My dad always wanted to open up a store in the Tri-Cities, so we looked in the area,” Mansius said.
Although his father grew up in Kennewick, Mansius knew little about the area.
But the Tri-Cities’ economic growth was evident, and in 2004 he opened HobbyTown at the Center Towers in Suite G.
After several years as a tenant, Mansius contacted the building owner about buying the complex.