New owner plans shopping park and refurbish of bank buildingSEASIDE - When Roehm Furniture Company closes its doors on Thursday, a new developer will be waiting to step inside and start making changes.

Christine Hammond and her development company, FPAdventures, LLC., is set to close the purchase of both the Roehm building and the old bank building next door Thursday. Hammond grew up in Portland and vacationed as a child in Seaside.

"We have really exciting plans for those sites," she said in a telephone interview from her home in Palm Springs, Calif. "It seemed like an exciting opportunity for me. I love the fact that Broadway Drive, especially the old downtown area, is being renovated. The owners of the Gilbert and Kerwin buildings have done a fabulous job and I anticipate the Desler building will be another gem. I wanted to be a part of that."

This photo shows the bank building at 734 Broadway Drive, Seaside, in 1920.

Photo courtesy the Seaside Museum and Historical Society.Hammond plans to turn the 12,750-square-foot Roehm building at 810 Broadway Drive into an indoor shopping park with eight to 10 small shops around the perimeter of the building and on the mezzanine. In the center, a fountain, trees and benches will provide a park-like feel. She's currently searching for building tenants.

"What I would really like to find are some local vendors, people who are doing some creative things with local materials," Hammond said. "I would love to see and talk to people who do craft art and fine art for a gallery-type of space."

Other store ideas include gourmet cat and dog products, bird-watching items, locally-made specialty jewelry, gourmet wine and cheese and, possibly, a second location of Astoria's Let It Rain shop.

Hammond also has big plans for the old bank building next door at 734 Broadway Drive. The 1,600 square-foot building has been used for storage for 40 years and was built in 1914. She plans to restore the building to its original historical glory, complete with a recessed entry, new windows, front awning, ceiling molding, wainscoting and refinished floors. She plans to use the space for one retail business.

"It was a gorgeous building," she said. "And it will be charming. I think that along with the other buildings in the downtown area there, it will be such a nice addition."

Mayor Don Larson is pleased to see yet another development on Broadway Drive.

"When I walked into that old bank building, I was very hopeful that it would be restored. Restoration of old buildings is very important to Seaside," he said. "I think her ideas and thoughts are just super. I'm excited to have a place like the shopping park where space can be shared. The inside concept could be wonderful."

Hammond will arrive in Seaside Thursday to close the deal on the property and plans to start refurbishment Monday. She hopes to have the buildings open for business May 1.

Hammond said that although Trendwest Resort did not influence her decision to purchase the property, she believes the influx of visitors will only help her endeavors.

"I think Trendwest will do great things in Seaside," she said. "Oregon is my home and I so look forward to working on this in Seaside. I see the exciting potential of old downtown in Seaside."


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