Business notes: Where’s that store? – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Business notes: Where’s that store?

Written August 18th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
Exactly where is "Waverly Drive & Geary Street" in Albany?

Exactly where is “Waverly Drive & Geary Street” in Albany?

In the business department, there are some items to take note of around Albany. A nationwide chain posed a small puzzle before opening a local branch in the city’s commercial center this week, and on a smaller scale, storefronts are being put to new use in the old part of downtown as well.

— Sunday’s paper included a one-page glossy insert, almost but not quite lost in the pile or other ads, announcing the grand opening of Marshalls this Thursday, Aug. 21. But if you don’t know where it is, or that it occupies part of the remodeled former GI Joe’s on the south side of 14th Avenue, near Safeway, the ad might have you scratching your head. “Waverly Drive & Geary Street” is the location listed in the ad. These are parallel north-south streets, and you may recall from elementary geometry that parallel lines meet only in infinity, if ever. (Waverly and Geary come together only at the north and south poles.) The new branch of this discount chain fills a space that had been empty for a few years. The rest of the building is to be a Big Lots. No word when that will open.

A café named "Sirene" expects to open here in September.

A café named “Sirene” expects to open here in September.

— Downtown, one block of First Avenue between Ferry and Washington is showing signs of new life. At the corner of Ferry, workers have been busy for at least a couple of weeks remodeling the inside of what used to be a shop dealing in sewing machines and vacuums. It’s going to be a café, according to the sign on the window when I parked my bike there a couple of weekends ago. The sign says the place, Sirene, hopes to open in September. A couple doors to the west, a dental office has opened and is acceopting new patients, again according to signs in the window. Remarkably, neither the café nor the Advantage Dental Clinic asked for downtown urban renewal help to get started. (Also getting ready to open on that block is the Natty Dresser, a men’s store, which did get approval for $10,000 of urban renewal assistance toward remodeling the storefront.)

— Over on Second Avenue, meanwhile, the empty storefront at 208 Second is still waiting to be redone to house the famous Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant, whose owners want to move it there from their rented space in the shopping complex that now has the new Marshalls. Karen Novak, one of the principals, hopes that  bank financing for the project will finally come through this week. Back in April, the Central Albany Revitalization Area advisory board approved a $200,000 forgivable loan for the project, then estimated to cost a total of $800,000. Two dozen employees of the restaurant met in the empty storefront for a staff meeting in July, and Novak’s reported on Facebook that all of them easily found parking nearby. Parking had been one of the concerns in the proposed new site. Karen invited the public to check Novak’s Facebook page for updates on the move. (hh)






2 responses to “Business notes: Where’s that store?”

  1. Bob Woods says:

    What great news!

    Now that the national economy continues to show real growth occurring, the investments that Albany made to rehabilitate the blight that used to be downtown now provide ripe opportunities for investors. Even though downtown investment grew during the worst recession of out lifetimes, it is now poised for even more rapid growth and investment.

    The next inevitable step is to listen to Gordon Shadle whine about creeping communism and what a disaster this is for Albany. Or maybe Jim Clausen can revisit his prior claims that the city council was in cahoots with the United Nations to take over the city. Or even Tom Cordier, who specializes in telling others why their decisions are wrong and only his are right, will advise the Novak family to switch to Mexican food.

    The time is over for the naysayers and malcontents who have worked to divide Albany and stop progress.

    The time is NOW for the business investors who see opportunity and those that care about building an even better Albany for the future to move forward together.

  2. Bill Kapaun says:

    4 potential businesses moving into downtown Albany.
    2 will probably fail and 1 (dental office) eventually move, but that’s enough to attack 3 people?


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