A Brief History of the Cherry Street Project
In May 2017 the previous board of Homeward Bound CLT signed a $250,000 loan to save the Carmel building from being demolished and instead have it barged to Port Townsend from Victoria and placed on cribbing on a piece of property off of Cherry Street. The intention of this bold move was to provide eight units of affordable apartments to residents of Jefferson County. Renovation of the Carmel building was intended to be carried out by a group of individuals that included a contractor, retired civil engineer, and architect. The Homeward Bound Board of Trustees was not meant to be responsible for the project, as their focus was on reviving and growing the organization.
This initial loan was due to be paid back in full by December 31, 2018 to the City of Port Townsend, however 2018 saw little progress for the Cherry Street project. Many of the individuals responsible for moving the project along were moving slowly, backed out, or literally disappeared. Responsibility was thus slowly transferred to the mostly-new Board of Trustees, who were fully occupied with trying to revive a bi-county organization. This board was unprepared to manage such a complex construction project, yet they had no other option than to try.
When the original loan was due and the organization still had no revenue from the Cherry Street apartments, Homeward Bound assumed an even bigger loan for the amount of $834,000, with interest, also from the City of Port Townsend. This money was first used to pay back the original loan, which was accomplished. Now, the remaining funds are being used to get the Carmel building on the ground and begin the process of rehabilitation. This project has three phases:
Phase 1: Laying the foundation, and putting the building on the ground (currently underway).
Phase 2: Wrapping the outside, which includes making the bottom floor look like the top floor, on the outside.
Phase 3: Rehab of the top two floors of apartments and completion of the four additional ground floor units.
Before the project could make any real headway, we needed a general contractor to manage the project, as the original contractor had literally disappeared in July 2018. The City of Port Townsend donated $25,000 to fund management of the Cherry Street project until completion of the foundation, presumed to be completed by late August 2019. The local firm Terrapin Architecture, owned by Richard Berg, was brought on as the general contractor for Phase 1, and Pacific Environmental Services, owned by David Sather, was contracted to carry out pouring the foundation. In March 2019 it sounded as if breaking ground might be just around the corner, but a few days before construction was scheduled to begin, a subcontractor was severely injured, which postponed the start of Phase 1 for nearly two months. Then, in late April, Nickel Bros (the company that originally barged over the Carmel building and placed it on its current cribbing) inspected the site and concluded that the cribbing needs structural updates to ensure the stability of the building while the foundation is laid. They have estimated this will cost around $15,000. We are hoping to negotiate this amount, as the organization currently has a balance of about $19,000 with Nickel Bros for the cribbing that has been supporting the building for the past two years.
Designer Jesse Thomas of StudioSTL Inc, has stepped up to be Homeward Bound's home representative. He is working closely with Kevin Coker, the project's lead designer, to finish and improve the building plans. In the mean time, we are working with the City to complete a waterline issue, negotiating property lines with the folks at Grace Lutheran Church (who have been incredibly supportive and cooperative throughout the process), as well as putting great effort into hiring a Project Manager who will stay with the project through each of the Phases to ensure continuity, quality, and timeliness.
Announcing Our 2019 Board Members!
On December 5, 2018, Homeward Bound CLT held its annual meeting. With about 40 folks in attendance, this meeting was a positive and refreshing end to a complex year. The room was filled with community members from Jefferson County and Clallam County, brought together by their concern about affordable housing in this area. Tobi McEnerney and Justine Gonzalez-Berg were elected to join the Board of Trustees by the organization's member body. Since then, the board has also welcomed Steve Moore as vice President, Paul Rice, and Blair Francis. Still remaining on the Board from the previous year are: Regan Anderson as President, Mark Cooper as Treasurer, County Commissioner Kate Dean, and Kristina Hestenes-Stimson. Homeward Bound is still expanding the board so if you have any interest in joining or know someone who does, please contact us at email@example.com.
*Updates (6/18/2019): In April, Steve Moore decided to step down from the board for personal reasons. Then, in May, Jesse Thomas of Studio STL was unanimously voted on to the Board by the existing Trustees.