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Changes abound in Arlington

The Cenex Co-op will be known as The Country Store when it opens in the old Safeway building sometime in November. The old Safeway building at the south end of North Olympic Avenue has been an eyesore for many years, since the grocery moved to 204th Street at South Olympic Avenue. - SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times
The Cenex Co-op will be known as The Country Store when it opens in the old Safeway building sometime in November. The old Safeway building at the south end of North Olympic Avenue has been an eyesore for many years, since the grocery moved to 204th Street at South Olympic Avenue.
— image credit: SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON — While an economic crash is the talk of the nation, long-planned building renovations continue the beautification of downtown Arlington.

Several projects that evolved out of the Olympic Avenue renovation project last year are nearing completion including an exterior renovation of Stillaguamish Square, home of Arlington Pharmacy and several other businesses, that will enhance the entryway into historic downtown Arlington at state routes 530 and 9.

Across Division Street from the pharmacy, the new Oosterwyk Chiropractor Office, at West Avenue and Division Street, fills a vacant lot at a key location at the entry into town.

At the south end of downtown, The Country Store will open soon in the old Safeway building and just a block and a half away from that, Arlington Hardware is also wrapping up a major expansion.

Both The Country Store and Arlington Hardware are racing for a November opening, although both are hesitant to name a date.

“Let’s just say November,” said Mike Jones, Monday, Oct. 6.

Other renovations in between are also coming together, such as Attorney James Mucklestone’s office in the 500 block that now features a classic brick facade designed by Gregory Minaker, of Minaker Architecture, to cover up the old cement blocks.

The Arlington Pharmacy and the mall, owned by the Dale Duskin family and associates, is getting a major makeover with the first signs of change being the removal recently of the bright yellow awning at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant.

The office manager at the pharmacy, Mary Peterson said that there will be no change in the tenants and that only minor changes will occur in the interior layout as a result of the remodel.

“The office space in the pharmacy will change a bit in the process of creating a drive-through window,” Peterson said.

“We hope the project will be done by the end of the year,” she said.

The manager of Arlington Pharmacy, who is now in charge of the remodel project, Cory Duskin said the remodel was inspired by the city’s street renovation.

“With all the collaboration going on, we decided to join in,” said Duskin, who started planning the remodel more than a year ago.

“We recognize that we are located at the main entrance into downtown, so we wanted to make it look good.” Duskin said that they are still tweaking the Highway 9 side of the new look and haven’t quite settled on it yet.

Across Division Street from the pharmacy, the new single story shophouse designed by Arlington architect Ruth Gonzales will provide a home to the Oosterwyk Chiropractor Clinic.

The single-story building will be a little more than 2,500-square-feet with six exam rooms, a reception area, waiting room and office, in a similar design to another structure designed by Gonzales and built south of the PUD office last winter.

Also designed by Gonzales, Arlington Hardware’s expansion in its former parking lot has been progressing along with minor tweaking of the subtleties of the hardware’s several other buildings in the 200 block of the avenue. The pink and purple fret work on one of those buildings is changed to a more subtle green and gray.

“We plan to fill the new section with more hardware,” Jones said. “We will also be expanding the garden and clothing sections.”

Cenex Co-op Supply, a.k.a. The Country Store has made a huge contribution to downtown Arlington by refurbishing the bedraggled, old Safeway store, which has sat empty since Safeway moved to 204th Street around 10 years ago.

Amid all this progress, some storefronts have recently been vacated.

The recently closed Jafty’s Motorcycle Repair Shop and Little Italy have left two large gaps in the 300 block of Olympic Avenue and the move of Arlington Travel several doors south, leaves a big vacancy at the corner of Fifth and Olympic.

“We didn’t need all that space,” said Tarin O’Brien, owner of Arlington Travel.

At least one major new project is hung up due to the economy.

Dennis Wreigglesworth has proposed the new four-story North View building at First and Olympic, where there is now a carwash, but it is on hold for the time being.

“We’re still planning to build it, but it’s a matter of timing,” Wreigglesworth said Oct. 6.

“We are watching the market for the availability of capital,” he said.

The North View building will feature retail space on the ground floor, executive offices on the second floor and condominiums on the top two floors.

Wreigglesworth was a builder before he became a developer and lived in Arlington for a while before moving to his current Stanwood address.

“We have people ready to move into the condos, so I hope we can get started soon,” he said.

Other changes in downtown Arlington:

n Washington Mutual Bank may soon bear the signs of its acquisition by J.P. Morgan/Chase.

n Robin Miller has sold her shop, Favorite Pastime, to Marian Ferguson.

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