A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Revival of the east side: Another step

Written April 13th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The Schultz Building on East First Avenue, shown on April 12, may house a “gluten-free” restaurant, according to plans presented to the city.

The Schultz Building at 212 First Ave. S.E. has seen various uses since being built in 1910. Now it may become a restaurant, according to a grant request being considered by the Albany urban renewal district.

I wrote about this building a year ago after seeing a couple of beautifully restored American muscle cars displayed behind its ground-floor windows. You can read the story and subsequent comments here.

On Wednesday, the Central Albany Revitalization Area will take up a request by Shawna Turkins, who in 2016 opened Homegrown Oregon Foods, a gluten-free commercial kitchen now housed inside the Marrakesh Salon at 229 Fourth Ave. S.E. She has a five-year lease on the ground floor of the Schultz Building, wants to move her operation there and open a restaurant, and intends to buy the property before the lease expires.

Turkins is asking for a $15,000 CARA grant to cover about 15 percent of the cost of the first phase of renovations to turn the first floor into a restaurant. She has private funding and a bank loan for the rest, according to a CARA staff report, which recommends approval of the grant. The money would come from CARA reserves now totaling $1,490,000.

According to the staff report, the restaurant project meets CARA goals, which are to revive the old part of town economically by, among other things, preserving historic resources and utilizing vacant properties. Some years ago, a CARA grant helped the building owners remodel and renovate the upstairs apartment.

Next door, Lepman Properties continues working on the renovation of The Spruce apartment building, without CARA involvement. When that project is done and the Schultz Building contains a going business, the east side of downtown will no doubt look and feel significantly revived. (hh)

11 responses to “Revival of the east side: Another step”

  1. Richard Vannice says:

    Is she going to have a gluten free menu? There are more people than one might think who can have some pretty severe reaction to products that contain wheat, barley, rye and under some conditions oats. It makes it very difficult to be able to dine out, especially when staff is not familiar with or carless about keeping orders correct and avoiding cross contamination which is difficult under the best conditions.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Yes, I think having a gluten-free menu is the idea.

    • Marjorie says:

      We’re going to continue being an entirely gluten free/dairy free kitchen. We’re excited to expand our menu and hours to better serve the community.

    • Shawna Turkins says:

      Yes ! We will remain 100% gluten free and will acquire the gluten free certification once we are approved and open…

    • Melissa Schumacher says:

      They are extremely cautious and aware. They never bring gluten into the kitchen in order to make sure it safe. Cross contamination is a big scare for a lot of us who are gluten free and they understand that. It’s so nice be able to order anything of the menu and not worry about it.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    Yay! This building is so interesting in architecture. How great to have a gluten free restaurant in Albany. I’ll be there!

  3. Beth Walker says:

    I order weekly from Homegrown Oregon foods delicious

  4. Jim Engel says:

    This is one CARA endeavor I will hold my tongue on & support. So what the heck…it’s only money so up the anti a bit to lessen costs & give a start up a better chance.

    I just recall when on the PD & the place was the Adult Store. One nite the tire store next door burned down. ‘Ole Lt. “Pappy” Harold Katchel was fuming & fussing the whole day after that the AFD had “saved’ the Adult Store. Bless his straight laced blue heart!!

  5. Albany YIMBY says:

    Cool! This is always good for Albany.

    We should also claim our gorgeous Willamette, like Seattle is doing with its bay front. Why having the railroads and empty warehouses occupying such precious space when we could have a wonderful river park for everyone?

  6. Rebecca Bond says:

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational story. Shawna is amazing, her food is outstanding and investing in her business will be beneficial for our community. Homegrown Oregon Foods is a great resource for healthy lunches, an easy catering choice for meetings that can accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, and weekly food prep menu for those who want a satisfying gluten and dairy-free meal without having to make it themselves. We utilize all of these options regularly and have recommended them often.


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