A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A facelift at Baker and First

Written February 22nd, 2018 by Hasso Hering

The building housing AK Carpet & More dates from 1946, according to the Linn County assessor.

Another downtown Albany building, this time on the east side of the business district, is about to get an exterior makeover. The owner is getting a bit of help from CARA but is bearing almost the entire cost herself.

On Wednesday this week, the advisory board of the Central Albany Revitalization Area, endorsed a $10,000 grant request to help building owner Andrea Hampl complete a $175,000 facelift of 140 First Ave. S.E., on the corner of First and Baker Street. The city council, acting as the Albany Revitalization Agency, then confirmed the grant.

The building’s former canvas awnings have already been removed. The second-floor windows are being replaced. Next up is the construction of a continuous metal canopy partially covering the sidewalk above the display windows on the ground floor. And it is with the cost of this feature, higher than anticipated at nearly $70,000, that the owner needed some help.

“The ultimate goal is to restore the building to (its) historic feel and look with a modern twist,” Hampl told CARA in her application to the city’s storefront revitalization program. The owner put $105,000 into the project and got a bank to finance $60,000 of the rest. leaving a $10,000 gap which the CARA board agreed to bridge.

Hampl’s application said the work should be done by the end of April. For now, she is concentrating on fixing up the outside. In the longer term, though, she hopes to remodel the upstairs, now used for storage, as apartments or lofts.

The sooner that comes about, the more residents will be living downtown, and that’s one of the goals CARA is hoping to achieve. (hh)

Andrea Hampl at City Hall after the CARA meeting this week.







12 responses to “A facelift at Baker and First”

  1. Tim Siddiqui says:

    Congratulations Andrea.

  2. Chezz La Fleur says:

    Andrea is one smart business owner!

  3. Bob Woods says:

    Now, let the conservatives begin their howl about how awful it is that over the last 10 years the community working together has revitalized downtown in a way that hadn’t happened for 40 years or more. How awful CARA is. How they hate Albany because of it.

  4. Sherry Leighton says:

    Congratulations Andrea!! I am so happy you have the courage to make improvements and helping Albany and other businesses prosper. I know you will have to listen to all the nay sayers but, I for one am HAPPY to see the downtown moving forward.

    • Andrea says:

      Thank you!! It’s been a long time vision of mine. It’s exciting to see it finally becoming reality.

  5. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    It would be better if this business owner risked her own capital in pursuit of market reward.

    It would be better if she made all of her money the old fashioned way – earning it.

    It would be better if she didn’t rely on the coercive power of government to tax to get this $10,000 handout of public money..

    But like all crony capitalists she makes some of her money the modern way – hand out and palm up.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      It might be worth noting that this is a taxpaying property. Through increased taxes, CARA expects to get the grant amount back in 15 years, according to the paperwork before the board. Also worth noting: Over the past 26 years (as far back as the county’s online table goes), the owners of this property have paid nearly $69,000 in property taxes to Albany, Linn County, Albany schools and the other taxing districts. So, making use of a grant program to encourage the paying of even more property taxes in years to come is hardly, I would say, a question of “hand out and palm up.”

      • Bob Woods says:

        Hasso, it’s hopeless. Gordon believes in his version of righteousness as a religious fervor. There is no amount of facts, results or reflection that will allow him to do anything else but parrot the tenets of far-far-right libertarianism.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Andrea has $105K of her own money in this plus a $60K bank loan. As usual, you have ZERO skin in the game & are clueless…

    • centrist says:

      You seem to have missed some highly numbers
      $105k from the business
      $60k via a bank loan
      $10k from your favorite hobby CARA.
      She’s obviously “risked her own capital”
      Wrong target, same drum


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