North Bend City Hall sells: will become LOGE Camps headquarters, new home to Pro Ski and Guiding

Next week North Bend City Hall and the adjacent former fire station will have a new owner – Mountain Culture, LLC – owned by North Bend City Councilmember and local business owner Martin Volken, Dan Nordstrom and John Rouches. 

During the planning process for the construction of North Bend’s new city hall, it was publicly stated by city officials that the old city hall building and former fire station would be sold to help finance the new building, currently under construction on North Bend Way.

This past October the city council passed a resolution surplussing current city hall, a legally-required step before the property could be marketed and listed for sale. At that October council meeting, Volken recused himself from the discussion and vote, citing a potential conflict of interest.

Volken, who owns Pro Ski and Guiding, said the business outgrew its current downtown North Bend location about 5-6 years ago. He’d been looking for a new spot for the past couple of years and had been interested in renting the former fire station space when Piccola Cellars went out of business in 2017, adding that before the city entered into a lease agreement with the current tenant, Wildflower Wine, he also recused himself from those council lease discussions.

When city hall was officially listed for sale at $1.3 million in November, Volken said he and his business partners were one of approximately four groups interested in purchasing the property. He said Mountain Culture’s offer came with only one contingency – an early lease buyout of Wildflower Wines. He explained the buyout was necessary or the purchase would not work – because the incoming businesses needed the space and the lease had four years remaining.

Volken said he reached out to the Wildflower Wine Shop & Bistro owner Kimberlea Miller and as it turned out, things worked out well. Miller said on social media that her lease was honorably purchased and that she plans to relocate to a more intimate setting – something she said she loves – and will redefine the Wildflower brand to offer “a true experience with food and wine.”

The city hall sale closing date is expected to happen on January 18th. At that time the city will become a tenant and rent its space back from Mountain Culture until the new facility is ready, which is expected to be this spring.

Wildflower and NW Jazz can occupy the old fire station until April. Volken said NW Jazz will continue to operate, but will not be tied to one location – most likely giving performances at different venues around the area.

So what will become of all that city hall space?

5,000 sq. ft will become the corporate headquarters for fast-growing LOGE Camps, which operates lodging facilities around the Pacific Northwest that Volken described as a cool, hip cross between a hostel and hotel – and are geared toward mountain bikers, skiers and surfers.

LOGE Camps has locations in Westport, Leavenworth, Bend, Snoqualmie Pass and Mt. Shasta. The company’s new headquarters is expected to bring about 20 living wage jobs to North Bend.

4,000 sq. feet of the former fire station will be the new location for Pro Ski, the retail part of the business, and Pro Guiding. Volken said many residents may not be aware of the guiding arm of his company, but that it offers guiding services for outdoor expeditions – including alpine climbing, skiing and more – all over the world.

In addition to these two businesses, Volken said they also hope to have a cafe in the fire station area and will rent out 2,800 sq. feet of upstairs office space. He said they’ve had some discussions with NW Avalanche Center regarding that space, but no agreement has been signed.

If all goes as planned, the old North Bend City Hall has the potential to become what Volken called a ‘Mountain Center.’

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