The City of Aberdeen’s recent efforts to clear downtown of derelict signs appear to be working.
“Great job to those owners who have complied with our city regulations. We will continue to work on any outstanding signage issues,” Mayor Bill Simpson said in a recent email.
Nine owners of 10 properties downtown were told in early December to get rid of the signs on abandoned businesses or face a fine of $500 per day. The majority have complied and a few have asked for extensions beyond the deadline of Jan 31, Community Director Lisa Scott said Monday. One building was sold. Another is occupied by a new business.
Scott reviewed the list of 10 properties in her files at City Hall. Most have complied with the order.
Some have asked for more time. The owner of the Selmers Furniture Annex asked for an extension to Feb. 28. More time was also requested for the Book Carnival and for removal of additional out-of-date signage on the Elks Building. Sidney’s Casino, at 512 W. Heron St., has been sold to the Brutche Family Revocable Trust.
The building, constructed in 1919, is listed as in average condition. It is worth $369,150 with the land included in the listing updated in 2013 by the Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office.
Scott thinks the Sidney’s signs will come down soon, but she isn’t sure what is planned for the former casino.
Here is an update of the status of the buildings, according to Scott:
1) Pioneer Paper building, owned by Heron Suites LLC, at 419 E. Heron St. — complied.
2) Sidney’s Casino at 512 W. Heron St., sold to the Brutche family trust by Bank of Pacific — in transition.
3) Lone Star at 409 E. Market, owned by Bank of the Pacific — complied.
4) Elks Building at 204 S. Broadway is owned by Martin Hubbard. The large out-of-date auction sign on the side of the building was removed. The Popcorn Factory neon sign remains — in progress.
5) My Sister’s Bakery, owned by Chen Jian Neng, was painted out and apparently leased to Luis Flamenco, who just moved La Salvadorena restaurant to 111 N. H St. For now, there is a sandwich board on the sidewalk for the new business.
6) Book Carnival, Michael Timmons Trust, at 219 E. Wishkah — asked for more time.
7) SBAT Leather, owned by Mike Giron at 215 E. Wishkah — complied.
8) Building owned by Pre Christiaan, Crowley’s Marine next to Pioneer Paper, at 415 E. Heron — complied.
9) The liquor store at 216 W. Heron St. owned by Andrea Ramiskey — complied.
10) Old Selmers Furniture Annex, Vickie Trader, at 419 E. Wishkah — asked for an extension to Feb. 28.
The sign effort follows an earlier request by Simpson sent out last June to owners of 77 properties asking them to fix their buildings up. That letter was followed by a large meeting held at city hall for property owners regarding minimum maintenance standards. Several large buildings downtown such as the Goldberg Building and the Morck Hotel were power-washed and painted. Many buildings installed plywood to cover gaping broken windows.
The mayor then set up a task force which was involved in several cleanups of downtown. Scott and the Historic Preservation Commission is working on creating historic districts. The city is poised to hire consultant Cary Bozeman to continue the work of revamping downtown.
The efforts to remove derelict signs are catching and other signs around town are being taken down, Scott said. Derelict signs that remain will be culled from the list of 77 properties citywide.
“We will be coming out with a new list,” she said.
Erin Hart, 360-537-3932, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @DW_Erin