Local resident Barbara Kelson recently took the two houses scheduled for demolition off the hands of TRF Pacific, which will be breaking ground in Woodinville on Dec. 2 for their 44-acre development. She plans to use the homes for a bed and breakfast, and eventually a retail area like Country Village set in the valley.
Photo by Jeff Switzer/Woodinville Weekly.
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--As the TRF retail project revs up the bulldozers for an 8 a.m. Dec. 2 groundbreaking, local resident Barbara Kelson has salvaged the blue and yellow houses between Firestone and Shucks Auto Supply, with plans to move them to her property across from the Old Hollywood Schoolhouse.
On her 3.5-acre L-shaped parcel behind Chevron, the houses will be joining the house moved there two years ago from the Molbak's parking lot. Kelson, a 28-year resident, leased and then sold the land to the nursery for parking.
The two houses, totaling 2,300 square feet, were moved late Friday night. Kelson has plans to use them for a bed and breakfast next spring, with a long-term eye on a Country Village/Gilman Village atmosphere. Kelson envisions that, in addition to constructing other buildings, she will connect the two new additions by covered pathways.
She said she approached TRF Pacific about the houses, which were set for demolition, and asked if she could take them of their hands. "I think they were glad to see somebody take them and not have to demolish them," she said. "I think when people would drive through town, they really noticed those two houses. I always remember looking over there and seeing those houses, and there really isn't much left of the old Woodinville; it's almost all gone."
She says her plans have been proceeding rather slowly as she struggles with the city's requirements, but she hopes for a spring 1997 opening.
"We're finally getting there now. We've got a long way to go, but we're making some progress finally," she said. "It's really exciting to see something is finally happening."
Initially, Kelson hopes to start with a bed and breakfast, and add retail and a restaurant later, all geared towards the tourist district and "trying to get people to stay a little longer and spend the day instead of coming for just a few hours," she said.
"A lot of people have stopped by and said they were really glad the houses weren't being demolished. They seemed to have a real strong feeling about those houses," she said. "Development comes in and the old buildings are gone. It's kind of sad, especially for the people who have been here for a long time."
TRF Pacific has invited the public to the groundbreaking on Dec. 2 at 8 a.m., taking place on NE 175th Street roughly where R & R Espresso is now located. (The espresso stand is scheduled to be moved to the Doug's Boat's parking lot this week.)