The building located at 316 E. Yakima Ave is no stranger to renovation, but this next transformation plans to be a major metamorphosis.
The structure on the corner of 4th Street and Yakima Ave has been many different things over the years. When it first opened in 1951 it was home to a JC Penny store. In an article from the Yakima Morning Herald the day before the grand opening the new building was touted as having, “…the latest developments in department store design, construction, fixtures and equipment”. It was twice as spacious as the existing Penny’s store and featured floor to ceiling display windows.
Then in 1972, the building was purchased by the Nordstrom’s Company and underwent an extensive addition and remodel that enlarged the ground floor level, added an additional level, and transformed the exterior of the building.
The Mills family purchased the building in 2003 and ran a music store for over ten years before closing. For the last few years the building has been vacant.
“We’ve been recently inspired by significant changes occurring and being discussed for downtown,” said building owner Monty Mills. “We are working to transform the building into something that would enrich the appeal and quality of life in the downtown area.”
Their vision has influenced the concept, designed by BORArchitecture pllc, for the current renovation which will transform the large retail box into a dynamic mixed-use building. Plans include space for a restaurant, two retail spaces on the ground level, professional office space on the second level, and seven private residential suites on the upper level.
The renovations have taken the entire space into consideration with the basement space being converted to private sub-grade parking for the leasing tenants and the rooftop being designed for a future rooftop bistro – designed to capture the spectacular views of the valley.
The renovation and construction which began in late 2015 is estimated to be completed later this year with perspective tenants being able to develop their spaces within a few months.
Below, from left to right: Picture of the old JC Penny building, photo courtesy of the Yakima Valley Museum. Picture of the Mills Music Building courtesy of the Mills Family. Building rendering courtesy of BORA.