A welcome sight is unfolding on Port Orchard’s Bay Street — the Myhre Building’s long-promised exterior spruce-up has begun.
Port Orchard Mayor Rob Putaansuu said early this week that city permitting approvals have cleared the way for BJC Group of Port Orchard, hired by investor and owner Mansour Samadpour, to start installing a safer, more presentable facade for the landmark structure.
Putaansuu said the improvements, which began April 13, will be just enough to transform it from “eyesore” to “attractive.”
“It should look nice from a distance,” Putaansuu said Wednesday. “And that would be much nicer than it is today.”
The improvements should be done in roughly a month, Putaansuu said. No extensive remodeling work is planned after the current work is completed, he added.
Samadpour late last year committed to making exterior improvements to the building after numerous citizen complaints about the building’s shabby appearance. Following those complaints, then-City Councilman Putaansuu initiated a phone discussion with Samadpour to push for improvements.
Since then, Putaansuu said he has met with the owner and his property management company, Abadan Holdings, LLC, a few times to move the project forward.
“It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a start,” Putaansuu said of the facade work.
“We’ve got much more to do. We’ll be pressing for more.”
The building was purchased by Samadpour’s Abadan Holdings for $475,000 in 2014. The 15,000-square-foot building was once home to the popular downtown restaurant Myhre’s, which was gutted by a fire in July 2011.
The restaurant was opened in the 1930s. The building’s original wooden structure was destroyed during a 1963 fire. Dick Rylander then took over his family business and replaced the building with a brick structure.
The Rylander family’s company, Myhre’s Inc., repossessed the building on Jan. 3, 2014 during a Kitsap County trustees’ sale. The property reverted back to the Rylanders after no bidder materialized.
John Lora and Melinda Oliver purchased the building for $700,000 in 2005. They planned to rebuild the restaurant after the July 2011 fire and they had a new roof installed in September 2012.
No work has been done to the building since.
Contractors who had performed work for Lora and Oliver weren’t paid and subsequently sued the couple. A foreclosure ensued and was followed by two bankruptcies against the couple.