A makeover is coming for an aging building that once served as offices for Grigg’s Department Store in downtown Pasco.
The brick building at 824 W. Lewis St. is currently known chiefly as an outlet for Cricket Wireless.
Building owners Brad Page and Charles Sumner announced plans in June for a mixed-use makeover that will install live/work offices, studio apartments, commercial space, a restaurant and even a rooftop deck.
Both touted the renovation on social media, as did their designer, Harvey Prickett, president of Wave Design Group.
Prickett said he’s eager to test the local appetite for urban renewal – turning old buildings into hip places to live and work with high-tech features and electronic key fobs.
“I have been told by more than a few cynics that this will never work in downtown Pasco,” he said.
While the project is in its infancy, the team sees it as a bellwether for additional conversions in downtown Pasco, which is rich with aging and underused buildings, Prickett said.
“We are trying to establish a footprint in downtown Pasco that will hopefully reverberate through that area – affordable urban renewal. We want to brighten up that area,” he said. He cited urban renewal success in Seattle, Denver and other cities as an inspiration.
No budget has been developed and the backers have not yet met with city officials for a preapplication conference, which is a standard step before builders apply for permits.
Prickett said the proposed mixed use is compatible with the current zoning since it retains space for commercial uses. Otherwise, the building will get a significant facelift, with new structural supports, sprinklers, power and water systems and more.
“There’s a substantial amount of work that is going to have to occur,” he said.
As a designer, Prickett said he was drawn to the brawny 1953-built building and the chance to create a building that beckons passersby with windows, a restaurant and a sense of place.
“It has good bones,” he said.
He said the existing windows are well placed to suit the studio apartment plan and ceiling heights are acceptable – not always the case with older buildings, he said.
Designers can work around the free span floor joists and trusses. Structural upgrades will be extensive, but not unmanageable.
The team hopes to begin construction by spring 2023. It envisions catering to studio tenants seeking moderately priced places to live in an area that is experiencing rapid job growth. Downtown Pasco is bordered by single-family home neighborhoods, but there are not many studio-oriented buildings.
It is meant to provide affordable rentals, not address homelessness.
The two-story building has 11,790 square feet. In addition to the Cricket Wireless store, space is leased to commercial tenants, including office users on the upper floor.
The first floor will be remade with 550-square-foot studio units, all compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, two flexible office suites, two bathrooms and two commercial retail spaces and room for a restaurant.
The second floor will gain 10,550-square-foot studio apartments.
A rooftop patio will serve restaurant guests and restaurant tenants.
The basement will be available to tenants for temperature-controlled storage.
No tenants have been signed, though Prickett said brokers began feeling it out once the development team began talking about it on Facebook and other social media channels.
Page and Sumner bought the building in 2019 for $200,000 under the name 824 W. Lewis St. LLC, according to Franklin County property records.
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