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Jul-13-2006 17:24printcomments

Construction and Remodeling Boom in Newport


Photos courtesy: dolphinrealtynewport.com

(NEWPORT) - Newport and its Nye Beach district are experiencing a bit of a construction and remodeling boom, with many of the historic cottages going under the carpenter’s knife and a spurt of commercial construction as well.

Much of the activity is centered in atmospheric Nye Beach, but there has been a large, high profile addition to the historic Bayfront district too - all of it expected to boost the local tourism business in numerous ways.

One of the more prominent examples of reconstruction and remodeling is the Anchor Pier on the Bayfront, which includes an upscale lodging, a gift shop, office space, a leasable spot suited for a restaurant and the newly fitted headquarters for Marine Discovery Tours.

Owner Fran Matthews said gone is old shack used for the ticket booth for the famous whale watch tour boat, now replaced by a 70-foot wide building which includes 25,000 square feet of retail space for its gift shop. Matthews said there is already an eatery waiting to pop into the restaurant space once that portion of the construction is done.

The hotel, called the Anchor Pier Lodging, sits above the retail and office areas, with balconies overlooking Yaquina Bay, and the 150-ft pier which houses the cruise ship. The hotel opened up in April 2006, and boasts five rooms that come with spas, fireplaces and numerous other amenities.

Also on the Bayfront, a new restaurant, A Taste of Newport, opened in early July on SW Bay Blvd. Owners Ian Clayman and Sarah Turnquist have created a small eatery that specializes in seafood, but with some interesting twists.

Things are seriously heating up in the Nye Beach area, especially since the injection of urban renewal dollars used for the renovation of this historic neighborhood. That happened in 2001. Since that time, Nye Beach has grown considerably with many more commercial projects planned to offer additional retail and lodging options.

“Newport's historic Nye Beach neighborhood continues to enhance its appeal with updates and additions,” said Nye Beach Merchants Association spokesperson Berniece Hammon.

Recent commercial additions include a three story, shingled building reflecting architectural features and elements that honor Newport's past. This building on NW Coast Street houses the studio of local sculptor, Lon Brusselback, a retail shop called The Twining Thread and Willow vacation rentals. Brusselback’s stone bench sculptures grace the streets of the area in various places, including at the Turnaround.

Nearing completion is another three story shingled and cultured rock building in the 200 block of NW Coast Street. This building houses retail shop The Cottage Door in the bottom space, with two apartment rentals above and third story living quarters for the owner.

Cafe Mundo is expanding their operation on NW 2nd Court, building a permanent restaurant building which will allow them to be open year around. This project is currently under way.

The Nye Beach Hotel on NW Cliff Street recently changed ownership and is under extensive renovation. The new owners hope to reopen by the fall of 2006.

Multicultural gift shop Jovi is currently expanding their retail operation on NW Coast St., and will add an additional 300 square feet to their store.

Nye Cottage, on NW Coast Street, recently expanded their site and added Anasazi Hair Salon, in addition to vacation cottage rentals.

Another beauty salon called Nicki's of Nye Beach opened recently on SW Coast Street.

The Newport Performing Arts Center expanded the ticket and administrative offices and completed a Zen garden designed by Juergen Eckstein. They also recently installed a sculpture called "Dancing Fool" by Micajah Bienvenu.

Also under construction is a new retail and condominium development opening early this summer, just north of the Nye Beach turnaround, on NW Coast Street. This building, which is owned by the McEntee family of Mo’s Chowder fame, will be home to a Thai Restaurant, a neighborhood market and an art gallery.

Plans are underway to expand the Chowder Bowl Restaurant on NW Beach Drive to offer additional seating and the ability to host private parties.

There are some new condos also to be built on NW Third Street, a set of condos by the Jump-Off Joe rock structure, near NW 11th, and another housing development by Coastal Development between NW 9th and 10th – all at the north end of Nye Beach.

The Coastal Development project of nine single-family homes was finished this past spring with all homes pre-sold. The company, owned by the Clayman family of Newport, has begun phase two of the development with an additional four homes, which are bigger and have more options, according to developer Ian Clayman, who also co-owns Taste of Newport.

At the southern end of Nye Beach, the Elizabeth Street Inn did some renovating this year as well, redoing all the rooms with new pillow top mattresses, granite sinks, new tile, carpet and wallpaper.

To Lorna Davis, Interim Executive Director of the Newport Chamber of Commerce, all this bodes well for the town’s future.

"This exciting flurry of residential and commercial construction which we're currently experiencing is a healthy sign of Newport's future,” Davis said. “Residents and visitors alike will benefit from the many diverse projects which are planned, underway, and recently completed."




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