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Grain elevator final auction date set for Friday

The Clallam Co-op grain elevator and the building formerly housing El Cazador go to auction this Friday to the highest bidder.  - Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
The Clallam Co-op grain elevator and the building formerly housing El Cazador go to auction this Friday to the highest bidder.
— image credit: Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

After a month of delays and a campaign to save the grain elevator, the iconic structure is likely to go to auction this Friday, June 6.

Kerry Wake, a commercial loan officer with Heritage Bank, formerly Whidbey Island Bank, said bidders for the Clallam Co-op grain elevator and the building formerly housing El Cazador at 531 W. Washington St., can place their bids during the auction at 10 a.m. at the Clallam Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., in Port Angeles.

A starting bid price was not available by press time.

The auction was delayed a few times from April 25 to June 6 for paperwork issues unrelated to efforts by trustees with the Museum & Arts Center of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, Wake said.

Louie Rychlik, the museum’s board treasurer, created a “Save the Grain Elevator” campaign but he said it didn’t raise enough money for a down payment.

“I can’t get enough people fired up about it,” he said.

His and other trustees’ plan was to raise up to $1 million to purchase the site and preserve the grain elevator, which has been in Sequim since the early 20th century.

From there, the museum potentially would house its exhibit center inside the vacant restaurant that closed on March 3 after 33 years due to declining revenues. However, museum spokesman Judy Stipe said due to its recent financial problems it won’t be active in bidding or trying to buy the site.

“The option is to just go ahead and attend the auction,” Rychlik said.

“If I had couple more guys come with me I’d bid on it. I’ve talked to a lot of people around town but not enough to do anything with it. Regardless of the price, we can’t raise enough money to bid on the damn thing, which is a crying shame.”

Wake said he didn’t receive any other inquiries about the site but he referred to Rychlik to former owner Hilda Rodriguez and her accountant Gary Morgan to seek a purchase agreement prior to the auction, whom Rychlik was unable to contact.

Rodriguez owes more than $950,000 on the site and Wake indicated that it’s unlikely the bank would accept less than what it’s owed.

If interested in partnering with Rychlik, call 457-8388.

 

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