The “Little Red Building” is likely returning to downtown Langley.
The Langley City Council expressed support for Whidbey Telecom Co-CEO George Henny’s plans for the vacant building at Monday night’s regular monthly meeting.
Henny proposed moving the building, originally built in 1913, from its current location on the corner of Third Street and DeBruyn Avenue to Second Street and Anthes Avenue. It would be situated next to the cable company’s BiG GiG Langley Center on the corner of Second Street and Anthes and act primarily as a museum; it formerly served as business’ headquarters in downtown. Henny also hopes it will help showcase the future of the BiG GiG Langley, which includes a co-work space, museum and information desk regarding gigabit internet capability.
“What we’re talking about here is connecting our history with our future and bringing it back down to beautiful Langley,” Henny said.
The other vacant structure attached to the Little Red Building, which was added on in the 1960s, is being sold, Henny said.
The city council did not vote on any action, but suggested Henny return periodically for updates on his progress. The council also requested a timely execution of his plans.
Mayor Tim Callison said Henny will soon enter normal developmental procedures, such as receiving approvals for the site and design, as well as other actions.
The two derelict structures have been idle for about the past decade. The 1913 building and addition were originally located in downtown Langley next to the Rob Schouten Gallery on Anthes Avenue, but they were relocated across the street from the fairgrounds. They were moved again to its current location due to the construction of a new fire station and Island Transit Park and Ride.
The aging structures became eyesore for neighbors, who sought action by the city. Henny was requested to speak to the city council about his plans for the two buildings and to set a deadline for when action needs to occur.
Henny projected that the design, engineering, site work and permitting process will be completed over the spring of 2018. He expects “the big move” will come sometime in the summer of 2018.
“Ideally, if we can get the funding together, we would love to have this opened during our 110th year and celebrate that as part of the history coming back to Langley,” Henny said.