Keith Thorpe / Peninsula Daily News
An abandoned building in the 200 block of East Front Street in Port Angeles faces demolition.

Keith Thorpe / Peninsula Daily News An abandoned building in the 200 block of East Front Street in Port Angeles faces demolition.

Teardown of derelict building in Port Angeles still on hold

Financing, permitting slows action on structure

PORT ANGELES — Difficulty finding financing and a slow permitting process has delayed action on a derelict building in downtown Port Angeles, according to an officer of the company that owns it.

Aman Sangha of Bellingham — whose company owns the vacant, two-story brick building at 204 E. Front St., on the southeast corner of Front and Lincoln streets — is awaiting better economic conditions before demolishing it, possibly for new apartments.

Sangha wrote in a Wednesday email that he hadn’t found anyone yet to demolish the existing building, but the hillside that abuts it shouldn’t be a problem in taking it down.

He had hoped to maintain the building’s façade, but that’s not a possibility, so the entire building is going to be torn down, Sangha wrote.

“Nothing wrong with the hillside, just the permit process is taking longer than expected,” he said.

“Originally I wanted to (renovate) the building and preserve the front façade, but that’s not structurally feasible.”

“So, we’re going to bring the building down. Once it’s down, then we’ll see what we have to work with.”

He said he is considering building apartments in the space.

SIG Washington Holdings, Inc. of Surrey, B.C., owns the property, which is valued at $118,494 for both the land and the vacant 3,040-square-foot, two-story commercial building.

Sangha is one of the company’s officers along with Gene R. Moses, also of Bellingham, who is a registered agent for numerous businesses in B.C., Washington state and Calgary.

The company bought it from David L. Gladwin of Port Angeles on April 12, 2022.

The sale came one week after the Port Angeles City Council voted to condemn the property after a fire started in a shopping cart by a person attempting to stay warm in the abandoned building grew out of control.

After trying to put the fire out themselves, people in the building called the fire department, which quickly extinguished it.

No one was hurt. Damage was restricted to the trash being burned. The door was boarded up after it was confirmed that no one remained in the structure.

Port Angeles City Attorney Bill Bloor was quoted at the time as saying the building had been an issue for the city for at least 11 years.

In 2016, a fence was placed on city right-of-way at that corner to discourage homeless people from congregating there.

The building housed Smokin’ Joes smoke shop until 2004 and had an apartment upstairs that caught fire in July 2001. Fireworks were believed to be the cause.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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