Hoquiam city council approves purchases from Emmert

The Hoquiam City Council voted to purchase eight properties from Emmert Silver City, LLC., for $1.35 million.

The LLC, or limited liability company, is owned by Terry Emmert. According to the city, he is willing to sell.

The $1.35 million price tag was $4,644 over the total assessed value of $1.35 million, according to city documents.

The properties include:

• LaVogue Cyclery — 523 Levee St., for $546,565 — there are two other parcel numbers attached for an additional $184,747, which would bring the whole 523 Levee St., property to $731,312

• Hoquiam Vision Clinic — 403 7th St., for $413,271

• Vacant building and lot next to McHugh’s Furniture — 518 Simpson Ave., for $91,798 — there is one other parcel number attached for an additional $10,625, which would bring the whole 518 Simpson Ave., property to to $102,423

• 203 5th St., for $84,695

• 201 5th St., for $13,655

The city sees the building that hosts LaVogue Cyclery, the building that used to host Hoquiam Vision Clinic and the vacant building and lot next to McHugh’s Furniture as “key to the city’s revitalization efforts,” according to the documents.

In 2021, the city completed its Downtown and Olympic Stadium Revitalization Plan, which was funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

“The plan identified strategies, tactics, implementation plans and recommendations to revitalize our downtown,” the documents state.

By acquiring the properties, the city can identify and lease the spaces to current and new tenants or re-sell the properties to new owners who are willing to invest and open a new business in Hoquiam, which would be “consistent” with the revitalization plan.

Brian Shay, Hoquiam’s city administrator, said during the meeting that purchasing the properties puts their future in the city’s hands.

“We’ve all seen these buildings now … just sit the last several years,” Shay said. “This puts their destiny in our own hands. I don’t think there’s a real risk of us taking a loss even in the short period by taking these on.”

Hoquiam Mayor Ben Winkelman said they’re buildings they receive complaints about often.

“These buildings are buildings we’ve received complaints about often, now,” Winkelman said. “Some of those can be immediately addressed if ownership changes.”

Winkelman said it’s important the city execute the purchase and sale agreements so Hoquiam can control some of the outcomes of those properties “so that we don’t have to continue to watch them deteriorate until we lose them.”

“The historical value of these properties is maybe different, but they’re right next to some of our most historic buildings that we have downtown,” Winkelman said.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com.