New life for old office building

Former state building will soon house a bank, restaurant and apartments

rboone@theolympian.comFebruary 27, 2014 

A tour of a former state office building in downtown Olympia this week shows that renovations are well underway for the property that is set to become the home for Thurston First Bank and Three Magnets Brewing Co.

The 27,000-square-foot building at Franklin Street and Legion Way once was home to the state Department of Personnel and Sears before the state sold the property to Walker John, a local developer who previously renovated the Cunningham Building at Fourth Avenue and Adams Street.

Interior walls have been removed in the two-story building, leaving the first-and-second floor spaces largely open except for the original fir support posts.

The posts will be part of the tenant space design on the first floor, leaving some exposed, Thurston First President and Chief Executive Jim Haley said during the tour.

Thurston First and Security State Bank in Chehalis helped finance the acquisition and renovations of the property with $3.9 million, he said.

Once the building is complete — expected toward the end of summer — Thurston First will occupy 6,200 square feet for its new main office, while Three Magnets, a brew pub to be opened by the owners of Darby’s Cafe, will take 4,900 square feet.

The second floor will accommodate 19 loft-style apartments, featuring 12-foot ceilings and 8-foot windows, and common space that will be home to laundry and exercise equipment. The apartments will range from 420 square feet to 600 square feet, said Bailey General Contractors of Lacey project superintendent Steve Barker.

Crews also discovered a half-inch copper plate vault door, likely used by Sears to hold employee payroll, Haley said, adding he hopes to incorporate the door into the design of the new bank space.

The building also will feature a vertical Thurston First Bank sign at Legion Way and Franklin Street.

Meanwhile, Bailey General Contractors continues to be one of the busiest contractors around.

Here are some of their other projects, according to owner Greg Bailey:

 • Oyster House: work is set to begin on the restaurant, and people can expect to see the frame of the building rise in the next two to three weeks. His goal is to finish the building before the one year anniversary of the fire that destroyed it. The building burned July 19.

 • Jimmy John’s: The quick-delivery sandwich business near Martin Way and College Street is set to open next week, he said.

 • Former Olympic Outfitters building downtown: it has been renovated for two new tenants, including a pet store.

 • New building on Fourth Avenue: Bailey also built a building on Fourth Avenue for developer John, a portion of which will be used for a 5th on 4th Sandwich shop bakery.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403

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