Business Roundup | New storage facility near airport goes big

Ryan Gonzales with Door Tech of Wenatchee, installs one of about 140 garage doors at the Airport RV and Boat Storage near Pangborn Memorial Airport on July 11.

EAST WENATCHEE — Bruce and Kate Bratrude and Lee Herring met for lunch one day in 2016.

The three are partners in several business ventures, including a couple of apartment buildings.

“We each bring a different skill set to the table,” said Bruce Bratrude, a retired accountant who enjoys crunching numbers. Herring is a real estate broker whose company, Herring & Associates Inc., focuses mainly on property management, with about 950 residential rentals. He enjoys coming up with new business ideas. Kate Bratrude, a retired nurse, is the “voice of reason,” according to Herring and Bruce Bratrude.

That day, their conversation topics ranged from the rebounding economy, an uptick in residential building permits and subdivisions with rules about boat and motorhome parking, which led Herring to suggest exploring a venture that involved building a self-storage facility.

Two years later, Airport RV and Boat Storage near Pangborn Memorial Airport is gearing up to accept its first tenants.

“People were building facilities with smaller storage spaces. We decided to go with a different scale,” Herring said. “I think there’s a need not only for tenants in our apartments, but for families who have more than what their garage space can hold. We felt there was a niche for the larger items,” he said.

Herring said that includes people looking for a secure place to park their RVs and boats.

Airport RV and Boat Storage’s smallest units are 14x24 feet. The largest are 15x50 and are equipped with 220-amp electrical service that allows RV owners to “plug in, run their air conditioning and all their equipment and it won’t blow. The 110 can’t handle those,” Herring said. Pricing ranges from $250 to $550 a month, depending on size.

The 36 units in the first phase of construction, which are ready for lease now, include the largest sizes. Once the second phase is complete in September, the facility will have eight buildings providing a total of 141 storage units. The units have automatic doors and the facility has a secure fence with surveillance, with electronic entry and an automatic 25-foot gate at the entrance.

An outlet for fresh water and an RV sewage dump station also are included onsite as a service for tenants.

Herring and Associates is managing the property from its office in Wenatchee, which includes signing up tenants and monitoring the electronic security. The storage facility also has an office that will be used to check in tenants.


WENATCHEE — The Chelan County PUD and Port of Chelan County have reached an agreement that would clear the way for the PUD to move its headquarters to Olds Station.

Under the deal — which must still be approved by PUD and port boards — the PUD will buy land in Olds Station from the port. The port will buy the Confluence Technology Center property owned by the PUD, according to Port Executive Director Pat Jones.

“It’s going to be nice to own the CTC in its entirety,” Jones said. “It will allow us to operate it a little more efficiently, in our minds.”

The PUD hopes to reduce costs and customer response time with the move of its headquarters and Hawley Street facilities. There will be a public comment period for the agreement in the fall before the transaction is brought to port and PUD commissions for approval.

The PUD hopes to have the land deals finalized by the end of the year, PUD spokeswoman Suzanne Hartman said.

The purchase agreement also requires that the PUD and port work with the city of Wenatchee to come up with redevelopment options for the PUD headquarters at Fifth Street and Wenatchee Avenue.


WENATCHEE — Central Washington Hospital has been honored for its treatment of heart attack patients.

Central Washington Hospital received the Mission: Lifeline Gold Quality Achievement Award on June 12. The hospital was recognized for having at least an 85 percent compliance rate with the American Heart Association treatment methods for heart attack victims.

“Taking care of people that have heart attacks is a huge team effort, here and throughout the whole region,” said Matthew Newman, physician director of the cardiovascular service line at the hospital.

According to a Confluence Health press release, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI heart attack each year. A STEMI (ST elevation myocardial infarction) is the deadliest heart attack that a person can experience and is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart.

Central Washington Hospital earned their award for implementing procedures that give patients the best possible chance at surviving a STEMI heart attack.

The American Heart Association looks at what the best possible steps are in treating a heart attack victim and then looks at whether the hospital is following those steps, Newman said.


LEAVENWORTH — Eric Worthen doesn’t own a Tesla, yet.

He has taken a couple test drives, though, including one up Tumwater Canyon to Coles Corner.

“We didn’t touch the brakes or the gas the whole time. It is unbelievable,” he said of the electric car’s semi-autonomous capability.

If he pulls the trigger on the $100,000 purchase, the owner of Dan’s Food Market will have a convenient place to boost his battery.

Tesla is building a 16-unit fast charging station on the unpaved vacant lot on Highway 2 between Worthen’s store and McDonald’s.

Construction started June 4 and is expected to be complete in early August.

“It’s the largest Tesla charging station project in the Pacific Northwest to date,” Worthen said. “The only project bigger than this is in Mount Shasta, California.”

Worthen purchased the vacant lot in late 2012. At that time, he was thinking about expanding or rebuilding the store he had purchased in 2011 from Dan Firth. Worthen decided instead to invest about $1 million into the current structure, including roof, coolers, electrical, windows, floor, paint, stucco.

That meant the vacant lot stayed that way, used for overflow parking during the summer and for post-plowing snow storage in the winter.

Several proposals were pitched over the years, he said, but nothing made it worth figuring out a different plan for the snow.

That was his first thought with Tesla’s proposal as well.

“I told them no four times,” he said. “They would not go away. They kept talking. We had everything they needed, the power, the property. We’re on the way to Chelan and Spokane. After months of negotiations it came to a point where it was financially a no-brainer.”

Tesla signed a 10-year lease, with a five-year option, on the property last fall. The electric vehicle powerhouse invested about $600,000 in the project to install the chargers and pave and stripe the entire lot.

Worthen’s part of the deal is to monitor the lot, making sure the spaces remain open for Tesla drivers who need to charge up. A full charge will take about 30 minutes.


WENATCHEE — The bidding battle for homes under $350,000 is heating up as fast as the housing market.

“We have multiple offers on houses under the $350,000 price range,” said Jamie Wallace of Windermere Real Estate/NCW and president of the North Central Washington Association of Realtors. “We might have between five and eight capable buyers competing for one property in that range.”

The trend is likely to continue. Housing prices are climbing.

The median sales price of a Wenatchee-area home in June was $323,900, up from $280,500 a year ago, according to the monthly Real Estate Snapshot Report released July 12 by Pacific Appraisal Associates. The Wenatchee area market includes homes and condos in Wenatchee, Malaga, East Wenatchee, Orondo and Rock Island.

In Leavenworth, Pacific Appraisal reports the median sales price for the second quarter 2018 is at $418,500, up from $385,000 in 2017. In Cashmere, the median sales price is $387,000, up from $304,500 last year.

Wallace has been seeing multiple offers in the $250,000 to $350,000 range for the past 24 months. It really started heating up in the past eight months, she said.

“It’s becoming common, too common,” she said.

In the Wenatchee area, the largest inventory is in the $301,000 to $350,000 category, with 67 listings (which includes active and pending sales).

Other price categories and the number of listings:

♦ $351,000 to $400,000, 47.

♦ $251,000 to $300,000, 37.

♦ $150,000 and less, eight.

♦ $701,000 and up, 27.

June’s numbers show a slight increase over May’s inventory of homes in the $250,000 to $350,000 range.


WENATCHEE — Catholic Charities Housing Services has received final funding for an affordable-housing facility, clearing the way for construction to begin in November.

The organization received about $12.6 million through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. The announcement was made at the July 12 Wenatchee City Council meeting.

The 67-unit complex will be located at 1545 S. Mission St. It will house families with children, people with disabilities and low-income residents, and will have an on-site manager.

Bryan Ketcham, Housing Services director for the Diocese of Yakima, has said the total cost would be about $15.45 million, including site development, construction, street improvements and professional fees.


OLYMPIA — Do you know a business that gives back to its community? Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State has an opportunity to recognize those for-profit companies doing amazing acts and charitable activities in the communities they serve.

Each year, Secretary of State Kim Wyman presents the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Award to a small group of businesses nominated by the public in the Corporations for Communities Award program.

Nominations may recognize charitable activities like paid time for employee volunteer work, sponsoring and organizing fundraisers, matching of employee giving efforts, direct cash and in-kind donations, and building a community of giving within their organizations.

Anyone may nominate a business and any sized for-profit corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or limited partnership is eligible for the award. Nominees need to be registered with the Office of the Secretary of State and must be in compliance with state and federal laws.

Nominations for this year’s award are open until Aug. 31.

Nomination forms are available on the Secretary of State’s website at

For more information about the Corporations for Communities program, contact program coordinator Patrick Reed at (360) 725-0358 or