PORT TOWNSEND — Under the pressure of heavy equipment, the 30-year-old facade of the landmark Port Townsend Lumber building came tumbling down Thursday afternoon.
Spectators gathered behind fences that were set up by construction crews as the workers began renovation work on the prime piece of real estate at the corner of Kearney Street and East Sims Way.
The former lumber building is now owned by the Kirkland-based real estate developer No Wine Left Behind LLC, which specializes in shopping centers and mixed-use properties.
Plans submitted to the city Building Services Department show that after renovation, the building will be used for up to nine retail businesses.
The proposal includes removal of the front 20 feet of the building, enlargement of the parking lot and installation of pedestrian and bicycle amenities.
The vacant, weathered 14,720-square-foot building has received a lot of attention in the past few months after Oregon-based Hollywood Video submitted plans to the city for signs on the building.
The company has taken out no other building permits with the city, and the company has not confirmed any intentions of opening a Port Townsend store.
Tony Miltenberger, a spokesman for Nicholson Investment Properties, the Bellevue-based company that applied with the city for renovation project permits, declined to comment.
He redirected questions to Hollywood Video headquarters in Wilsonville, Ore. Hollywood Video representatives have not returned repeated phone calls.The city’s Development Services Department last fall received a sign permit application from Hollywood Video to approve the design for its corporate signboard on the renovated lumber building.