New Life Coming to North Bend Explosion Site

The massive rubble pile sat for months as a reminder of the devastating blast that leveled Last Cut East Barber Shop, a new restaurant days away from opening and small strip mall along North Bend Way during the early morning hours of April 25, 2014.

The natural gas explosion that rocked North Bend and scattered debris for blocks was eventually pinpointed to the restaurant under construction. The explosion and the ensuing massive fire destroyed all businesses at the blast site and also caused extensive damage to nearby businesses and residences.

Late last summer the rubble pile was finally cleared, scooping away all the remnants of the site’s former life. Then damaged windows at Red Oak Retirement Community and Mount Si Court Apartments were eventually repaired, presumably when complicated insurance matters were settled.

Adjacent Les Schwab Tires, took the longest to repair. The blast caused structural damage, forcing and bowing garage bay doors and shattering numerous large windows.

New Life On the Way

Less than a year later, the empty site of the explosion was put up for sale, with the only reminders of the former buildings being their decades-old cement foundations.

But things are moving forward and that For Sale sign is now gone, signally that possibly rebuilding will soon commence.

According to Gina Estep, North Bend Director of Community and Economic Development, the explosion site has been purchased. Estep stated via email that the developer is planning to construct a mixed-use building with 5,000 square feet of retail space and second story residential units.

There is no timeline for the construction yet, but Estep did comment that the City of North Bend is working with the developer to improve the entrance to Torguson Park as the future site developed.

 

Photo: Google Maps screenshot

Businesses before the April 25th explosion on E. North Bend Way. Photo: Google Maps screenshot

 

Aerial image of North Bend Way explosion site, 4/25/14

Aerial image of North Bend Way explosion site, 4/25/14

 

rubblepile

 

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