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Mike’s Place has new owners

Mike’s Place, the former restaurant building on the corner of Anthes Avenue and First Street, has new owners. - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Mike’s Place, the former restaurant building on the corner of Anthes Avenue and First Street, has new owners.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

The Langley commercial space formerly known as Mike’s Place has new owners.

Jason Joiner, the Windermere real estate agent who handled the deal, confirmed rumors of the sale Thursday, saying the deal closed this week. Karen and William Allen, part-time residents of South Whidbey who own several properties around the island, purchased the building for $250,000.

At this point, Joiner said they do not have plans for the 2,700 square feet of street-level commercial space on the corner of Anthes Avenue and First Street, prime real estate in Langley.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do,” Joiner said. “The buyers don’t know either.”

Attempts to reach the Allens Thursday and Friday for comment were not successful.

The site was formerly a gas station, and speculation has swirled around town that tanks may still be under the building. No tanks are on the Washington State Department of Ecology’s list, and Langley will not require any examination of the property for the tanks, Joiner confirmed.

“Everybody thinks that they’re there,” Joiner said. “They may or may not be; that’s kind of a rumor.”

Eager eaters or interested neighbors should not, however, expect to see a new shop any time soon.

“Scaffolding won’t be up tomorrow,” Joiner said. “They have to go through their planning first.”

The Allens’ pressing concern, said Joiner, is to bring the space up to code, including getting the proper permits to legally make the upstairs space a residence. The upstairs was converted to living space years ago, but without proper permits, city officials said.

“My understanding is there were never proper permits associated with that,” said Jeff Arango, Langley’s director of community planning, adding that he was not involved with the former owners’ permit process.

Langley zoning defines the space as mixed use. A commercial entity must occupy the first floor along the street. The second floor can be residential, with the proper changes. Joiner said sprinklers would be needed, a costly installation for the 2,100-square-foot apartment and 2,700-square-foot shop.

What would occupy the street level remains unknown.

“There are lots of options for mixed use,” Joiner said, adding that the Allens are open to hearing ideas for the space. He asked that anyone with a suggestion contact him at jasonjoiner@windermere.com

The property was originally listed for $645,000 in February 2012. By June 2012, Whidbey Island Bank repossessed the property and listed it for $589,000. The Allens made an offer to purchase it in September 2012, at which time the property was listed for $569,000. Their deal fell through when they learned of the work that was needed to renovate and upgrade the space to their needs.

Joiner said he heard estimates from contractors that renovations would cost between $150,000 and $200,000 for the sprinkler system, some structural upgrades, electrical wiring and plumbing fixes.

The property’s last listing price was $249,000 before the Allens closed on it for $250,000.

“This hit a price that made a lot of sense even with the amount of work that was needed,” Joiner said.

 

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