Sale closes, work to begin at downtown site

Former Sears and Department of Personnel building in Olympia to become bank, Three Magnets brew pub

rboone@theolympian.comJanuary 2, 2014 

The sale of downtown Olympia’s former state Department of Personnel building closed this week, which means construction could soon begin on transforming it into the new home for Thurston First Bank and Three Magnets Brewing Co., a new brew pub.

The second floor of the building will have loft-style apartments.

The newly renovated building is expected to open this summer.

On Tuesday, the state Department of Enterprise Services, which manages real estate transactions for the state, announced the first step: the sale was finalized Monday for the nearly 27,000-square-foot building at 600 Franklin St., with Olympia developer Walker John paying $2.6 million.

The asking price was $2.85 million.

John and Thurston First Bank President and Chief Executive Jim Haley could not be reached, but Haley said in an email last month that work was set to get underway.

“Looks like our building will begin the interior and portions of the exterior demolition phase the first week in January,” he said.

Three Magnets Brewing Co. will be run by the owners of downtown’s Darby’s Cafe, Nate and Sara Reilly.

John continues to raise his profile as a developer in downtown Olympia.

He transformed the sorry state of the Cunningham Building at Fourth Avenue and Adams Street into a mixed-use destination, and also purchased property on Fourth Avenue that is home to the 5th Avenue Sandwich Shop and a second building currently under construction.

In addition to renovating the former state Department of Personnel building, John has said that he is considering a second building on the same site, which would take a portion of the existing parking lot. The lot currently has parking for 119 vehicles, according to Enterprise Services.

The building was once home to Sears and later the state Department of Personnel, which moved out in summer 2011. The building was put up for sale in January 2013. John put it under contract in April. He then exercised several options — extending the closing date each time — so that he could evaluate the property.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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