A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Pawn shop opens in former bank branch

Written January 5th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Bold signs on the corner announce the new business at Second Avenue and Ellsworth Street.

The former U.S. Bank branch in downtown Albany has found a new use, as you can easily tell by the big signs on the corner of the building. Capital Pawn opened there this week.

The pawn shop moved downtown from its previous Albany location at 2736 Pacific Blvd. S.E.

U.S. Bank closed what it called its Albany Community Branch in January 2021. The building at the corner of Ellsworth and Second Avenue remained empty until a company owned by Adam and Beth Anundi bought it for $625,000 last May.

Besides the Albany store, the Anundis operate pawn shops in Portland, Salem, McMinnville, and Beaverton. They started remodeling the former bank during the summer.

I was out of town for a few days but saw the new signs when I got back on Thursday. In case you are wondering (and even if you’re not), the owners applied to the city for “historical review” of the signage, according to records available online. They applied on Nov. 21 and got approval on Dec. 6, the records say.

The pawn shop occupies the remodeled western section of the ground floor. As for the other half, it looks empty and I was told its potential use is still undetermined.

I stopped at the store on a bike ride through town on Friday afternoon. It was busy. I’m pretty sure there were more people inside than on most days during the last few years when the place was a bank. (hh)

The music section of Capital Pawn in downtown Albany.

18 responses to “Pawn shop opens in former bank branch”

  1. hj.anony1 says:

    Ahh! The newest CROWN Jewel of Cara.

    Take note of the case sensitive wordage. Ha!

  2. Cap B. says:

    Whoever is in charge of “historical review” of signage for the city, I would like to buy them a cup of coffee.. I love their okaying the big orange sign, PAWN, right in the middle of hoity-toity, fancy, gentrified downtown Albany. I’m laughing my “posterior” off and won’t have to watch my diet this week!!!

  3. James Priddy says:

    Oh God! I already have too many guitars and no room. There’s a devil on my shoulder egging me on to go take a look!

  4. chris j says:

    This is another way the city is helping the homeless survive without housing and jobs. The more pawn shops there are the easier it is for to pawn stolen property. How do they think the homeless get money for cigarettes and alcohol etc. Soon we will have to roll up our windows and lock our car doors at the new recorded stoplights like I do when I visit Portland. I will not be shocked if one day the city is brazen enough to add a “support home less” fee on our utility bills in addition to the “low income assistance” fee. The extra fees they have on there are helping the city make up for all the financial disasters they make. The homeless crisis will be resolved faster if funding for supposedly temporary shelters is stopped and the city is not rewarded for maintaining a high level of homeless. The good people of Albany are the true financial supporters of helping the homeless, their money and efforts need to stop being wasted.

  5. Vickie Adams says:

    Oh Albany… that sign is horrible! How can you think for one second that sign is conducive to Historical Albany? It certainly is not! Seriously… Albany we need to review what “Historical Signage” means.

  6. Carol Gascoigne says:

    I saw that sign on my way back into town on Friday. I could not believe it.
    That sigh is beyond trashy.

  7. David Cross says:

    “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston S. Churchill

  8. Bill Kapaun says:

    Maybe rent stalls and have a Saturday Flea Market in the other half. It could be another opportunity to buy used goods downtown.

  9. Rhett Butler says:

    The last pawn shop I went to offered almost no money for the items I had to sell. It really wasn’t worth going there; I should have just tossed the items in a dumpster. It’s a lot of trouble to sell anything on Ebay, and the returns are minimal. Goodwill and other charities act like they’re doing you a favor to take household goods off your hands, even nice things. Used furniture in this country has almost no resale value.

    • Cap B. says:

      Rhett: Haven’t heard from you in decades. How’s Scarlet these days? Has she forgiven you for the “Frankly, My Dear, I don’t Give a Damn” remark?

  10. CHEZZ says:

    Big sign must come down – the size of that sign has to be over the appropriate size for that building/business part of the building.

  11. Greg Engstrom says:

    I guess that’s a sign of the world today, pawn shops are the place to borrow money as the banks don’t want to lend to regular people.

  12. Kevin Prochaska says:

    I think it is perfect that a pawnshop is located in a previous bank building. After all, society needs to provide credit to those that banks have abandoned (along with a lot of their physical locations).

  13. Bill Kapaun says:

    I love it! It reminds one SO MUCH of City Council Real Estate Theory. Sell for less than you paid for it.

  14. Scott Bruslind says:

    As of yesterday, there’s a Cinelli fixie in the window on 2nd Ave at Capital Pawn. Very pretty, but not really a road bike, as advertised on their website. More of a city looker- eye candy that caught my eye. Hope to see it with HH’s Giant in a picture someday.

  15. Sherri says:

    Am i getting this right ? Albany purchased the building for $1.3 million and sold it for $625,000 ?


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