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Bremer Trust sells JC Penney's building

Artist’s rendering of how the old J.C. Penny’s building on the corner of Pacific snd Burwell in downtown Bremerton will look when the complete renovation is completed. Selling the building to a developer who would either remodelit or tear it down to build something else was considered a key component in the city’s revitalization effort. The Bremer Trust entered into a contract in May to sell the J.C. Penney building to Metrovation, a Bellevue developer. The site, seen by Bremerton city leaders as a key to the Harborside District redevelopment plan, would include a grocery store, restaurants, retail stores, a health and fitness club, and top-floor residential, according to preliminary plans. Third Place Books is planned as the anchor.

Ron Sher, who founded Third Place Books and owns Metrovation, comes from a family of developers and has been highly acclaimed for building projects where the community can gather and socialize.

“Our focus has always been on creating vibrant, energetic community gathering places and we are eager to create one for downtown Bremerton,” Sher said. “It has been great to see so much community support for the effort.”

The property encompasses a complete city block, from the new condominiums on Washington Avenue to Pacific Avenue, situated between Burwell and 2nd Ave. The J.C. Penney building, the last “new” building in downtown Bremerton before the current renaissance, was constructed in the early 1970s. One of several properties owned by the Bremer Trust, it has been used primarily as a parking garage in recent years. City leaders have been urging the trust’s board of directors to allow for the site to be redeveloped into something more attractive.

Mike Connolly, managing trustee of the Bremer Trust, said, “The Bremer Trust’s first responsibility is our contribution to the Olympic College and the students. This sale is a perfect fit with our other goal, which is to be a good neighbor, and supporter of the Bremerton revitalization.”.

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