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Sept. 24, 2020

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Repairs underway at former home of Spanky’s in downtown Vancouver

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
3 Photos
The building at 812 Main St. in Vancouver, the last tenant of which was Spanky’s Consignment in 2008, is being brought back up to code, city officials and local business leaders said. Property owners in the area say there could be more news about the building in the coming weeks.
The building at 812 Main St. in Vancouver, the last tenant of which was Spanky’s Consignment in 2008, is being brought back up to code, city officials and local business leaders said. Property owners in the area say there could be more news about the building in the coming weeks. Photo Gallery

The old home of Spanky’s Consignment could soon house more than just graffiti.

Vancouver officials and downtown business leaders say construction crews are working on fixing up 812 Main St., an unused building for the last decade that was recently broken into and vandalized, according to city officials. But it’s not yet clear where that spruce-up will take the two-story building.

“It’s one of the most common questions I get. People will cross the street and say ‘What’s going on with this building?’ ” said Steve Becker, president of Vancouver’s Downtown Association, located at 811 Main St.

That question doesn’t have an answer yet. Dave Sobolik, whose company Sobolik & Finnegan Properties LLC owns the building, declined to comment for this story, but he did say there could be more news to share in the coming weeks.

Ryan Hurley, a Vancouver developer behind several projects in development, said his construction company is the one helping bring 812 Main St. back up to code. He, too, said there could be more to share in the future — just not today.

Hurley’s company, Ten Talents Investments 2, owns the building directly south, 808 Main St., which houses a co-working space and a coffee shop.

Those teasers alone, however, are developments for the 10,000-square-foot building. It was last used in 2008, up until the owners of Spanky’s Consignment decided to close and consolidate business at a location in east Vancouver. Since then, it has become distinguishable among the downtown core for its boarded windows, cracked facade and big vertical sign reading “SPANKY’S.”

It may have been passers-by and city codes that spurred the improvements. According to Chad Eiken, community and economic development director for Vancouver, the city received code complaints in the spring about the property. Code enforcers went out April 25 and found, among other things, graffiti on the inside of the windows.

“So that’s a pretty good sign somebody had gotten to the inside of the building,” Eiken said.

Inspectors are meeting with developers Saturday to determine whether the building has been brought back into code, otherwise the property owners could face a fine of $250, Eiken said. There have been no fines issued to the property owners to date, he added.

“This is a good example of our typical code-compliance process, where we make contact with the property owner, let them know there’s a problem or violation, and give them a reasonable time to correct it,” Eiken said. “But if they haven’t corrected it that’s when we fine them or take action.”

Whatever changes come would join a historic list of tenants. 812 Main St. is among the oldest buildings in downtown Vancouver. Clark County property records don’t list a date of construction, but old city business directories show it was a silent movie theater called the USA Theater in the 1920s, before being converted into a shoe store in the 1930s.

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