Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Victoria Fowler
Gazette Reporter 

New building coming to Colfax


March 26, 2020

Conceptual model of the new building.

COLFAX – Planned for the gravel lot behind Rosauers on Mill Street, S&L Rentals will be building a 6,000 square foot office space designed for three to four tenants. The building currently has two long-term tenants planned to move into the property.

Scott Ackerman, owner of S&L Rentals, said there is a total of 1,500 square feet available that can be leased or split into two 750 square foot spaces.

The scheduled start date for this project was supposed to be Tuesday, March 17, but with coronavirus concerns that date has been pushed to sometime in the future.

"We hit a little delay with the COVID-19 virus and the city didn't hold its city council meeting Monday night so that has us delayed a little bit because we can't get our permit," Ackerman said. "The state, as of March 16, has put all of their new building contracts on hold until the coronavirus is under control."

Other than a final permit all preliminary work, including environmental impact studies, ground stabilization, etc., has been completed.

When this project began in March 2019, its size and location were much different than it is now. Originally, the project was planned to be a single tenant space in the lot behind Purpose Roasters.

"We started talking to the two tenants thinking that one of the two tenants would probably bow out and we would just build a smaller office building," Ackerman said. "Instead, both tenants continued to follow through and both had opted to take space so we found a new location and we closed on the new location at the beginning of January."

Ackerman added that they have been working through these winter months making sure everything was ready for when the weather turned nice so they could get started right away, but they hit a delay with the virus. All Ackerman could say is that it is what it is.

"We aren't going to know the end result of this, probably for three to six months, with the restaurants closed and the gyms closed and the people being off work for three to however long weeks it's not a good thing," Ackerman said.

"S&L Rentals are committed to trying to make Colfax a better place to live and keep it growing as much as possible. This is where we grew up and our son and grandkids live here, and we want to see Colfax grow," Ackerman said.

Lot behind Rosauers, future site of the building.

Ackerman and his wife Lori are veterans in working to make Colfax grow. Ackerman said they started by flipping nine homes in 11 years back in the late 80s to the early 90s, they built a 4-plex on Meadow St. in 1992, he said they were the instigators for the Best Western Hotel in 2002, they rehabbed the radio station and made it into the Washington State Patrol building in 2011, the River Point development in 2014 and in late 2018 they bought the Department of Social and Health Services building and began rehabbing it.

He added they currently have two other spaces in Colfax for lease, one being a 1,200 square foot Main Street location and the other being 7,000 feet of unfinished space in the lower level of the DSHS building that is all ADA accessible.

"Colfax is more expensive to build and with a lower return than Pullman, for example, so it takes a love for the community to invest here knowing that your return isn't going to be as fast and it's higher risk than building in another location," Ackerman said. "We have been very fortunate in Colfax and have tried to make all of the locations that we have touched better and cleaner for the community."


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