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American Family Insurance office opens in Washougal Town Square

Originally published in the Camas – Washougal Post Record on February 17th 2015.

American Family Insurance agent Cynthia Cruz will soon open an office in downtown Washougal.

Auto, home, business and life insurance policies will be available to purchase in Washougal Town Square, Ste. 204, starting Monday, Feb. 23.

Cruz, a Washougal resident for two years, previously worked at an American Family Insurance office in Vancouver.

“I want to do more around here,” she said. “Getting involved in the community, where my kids are going to school, is more important to me.”

Cruz is licensed to sell insurance policies in Washington and Oregon.

She previously served as an officer with the Transportation Security Administration for eight years, with the Department of Homeland Security.

“I’ve always been involved with protecting families,” she said. “Now, with American Family Insurance, I could work directly with families to create an insurance protection plan that is unique to each family.”

Cruz said it is exciting to be part of the downtown Washougal community.

“I believe it is one of the most beautiful places, with the scenery and other locally owned businesses, and Pendleton Woolen Mills,” she said. “I love the walkway there and reading about the history of the area.

“That’s what drew me there,” Cruz said. “The downtown is the heart of Washougal.”

The Cynthia Cruz Agency, 1700 Main St., will be open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment on weekends. For more information, call 773-8727, email ccruz@amfam.com or visit http://insurance-agency.amfam.com/WA/Cynthia-Cruz/.

Read the original article here.

Torque Coffee Roasters Announces Washougal Town Square Location

Originally published in The Columbian – January 15, 2015

Link to the article here.

Torque Coffee Roasters is taking its blend of “guilt-free” coffee and pastries to downtown Washougal, marking the first expansion for a company that opened a single location in downtown Vancouver three years ago.

Torque hopes to be up and running in the Washougal Town Square by Valentine’s Day, says co-owner Ryan Palmer. The company chose Washougal after looking for a new site in Clark County communities including Battle Ground and Hazel Dell, Palmer said. The Washougal shop will be at 1700 Main St., Suite 130, in the heart of downtown and a short easy distance from the Pendleton Woolen Mill, which has about 200 employees who could be potential customers. “It had all the right ingredients,” he said of the site.

The Vancouver location, in an old building across Columbia Street from the Hilton hotel, has an edgy urban vibe that is rare for coffee shops in Clark County. It’s a large space filled with vintage tables and chairs, where customers can stretch out with their coffee and laptops. The coffee shop attracts downtown workers and residents as well as visitors from the Hilton and nearby Esther Short Park, Palmer said.

The family-owned company takes a socially conscious approach to its purchases of coffee, and it contributes to community projects in coffee-producing countries including schools, housing and crop development initiatives, he said. “We have great relationships with farmers and with importers and exporters,” he said. “People can buy guilt-free.”

Torque is the fourth retail tenant in Washougal Town Square, a two-floor Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver-certified building with 22,000 square feet of retail space and 25,000 square feet of Class A office space that opened in 2008. Property owner Lone Wolf Development announced this week that it also has signed with two new office tenants for the building, Exit Studios Inc. and American Family insurance agent Cynthia Cruz.

Adam Taylor, leasing manager for Lone Wolf, said the building is now about 50 percent leased both in its commercial and its retail space. While progress in leasing is slow by standard measures, Taylor said Lone Wolf, owned by Washougal resident Wes Hickey, has embraced “a longer-term vision” for attracting tenants who will be a good fit for the small city’s downtown. “We’re aggressive for the right type of tenants,” he said.

In the case of Torque, the company fills a niche in a downtown without a standalone coffee shop, Taylor said. Torque’s local ownership and community involvement, its three year record of success, and its local credentials and its multiple revenue streams in retail and wholesale markets made it a desirable tenant for Lone Wolf, he said.

“Downtown has never had a coffee roaster, or even a dedicated coffee shop,” Taylor said.

Washougal Mayor Sean Guard said he is ready to welcome Torque as the kind of business that will draw people to downtown. “They’re the kind of people we love to have here,” said Guard, who has visited the Vancouver coffee shop. “They’re engaged and want to do things in the community.”

And, Guard added, they fit the emerging profile for the city’s downtown of “trendy, edgy things coming up that create excitement this community hasn’t seen before.” Of Torque, he said: “They’ve got that vibe, even in their name.”

Exit Studios Comes to Washougal

Exit Studios, Inc., a design / build creative studio that specializes in retail environments around the world has opened an administrative office in Washougal Town Square. Brian Windell, the owner of the company, has lived in the area for a few years and is pleased to have grown his company to a size that warrants a professional office space. The company has kept their manufacturing service in northeast Portland.

Welcome to downtown Washougal!

Immersive Media Opens North American HQ at Washougal Town Square

Immersive Media has recently re-located their North American headquarters to Suite 222 at Washougal Town Square. The space, formerly the home of Washougal Sport & Spine, fit the company’s expansion needs with a minor renovation. The team at Immersive is thrilled to be a part of the growing downtown business community.

Creatives Converging on Washougal

from The Vancouver Business Journal, October 3rd 2014

It’s hard to say exactly when it started, but the city of Washougal has quietly become a destination – not just for fly fishers and anglers, but for technology and creative companies.

Early next month, Immersive Media Corporation, a provider of 360-degree, full-motion interactive video, will become the newest technology-related business to call Washougal home. The company recently signed on to occupy 2,340 square feet of office space at Washougal Town Square (1700 Main Street, Suite 222).

Immersive Media (www.immersivemedia.com), which is currently headquartered in Vancouver, will join an ever-growing list of technology and creative companies that have moved to Washougal in recent years. This list includes Internet and marketing companies such as Workshed, D. Studio 21 and Effective Web Solutions, as well as medical industry consulting and technology firms Provider Services Group and EverMed.

Much of the effort to bring creatives to Washougal can be linked to the city’s largest commercial developer, Lone Wolf Development. Headquartered in Washougal, the firm has been working to bring a variety of creative entrepreneurs and industries to Washougal’s Main Street, with the technology sector being a specific focus.

According to Wes Hickey, owner of Lone Wolf, the purpose of focusing on a key sector like technology is to create a culture of collaboration.

“The opportunity for informal communication and socialization is critical for the success of creative and knowledge-based businesses,” said Hickey.

“Thinking about who is down the hallway or outside of the building, the sectors they’re working in and having spaces that cultivate the spirit of collaboration – these are all pieces of the puzzle, and we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor,” added Adam Taylor, Lone Wolf spokesperson. “This type of environment existing in downtown Washougal has been Lone Wolf’s vision for a long time.”

Thomas McGovern, vice president of Immersive Media, praised Lone Wolf Development for that vision.

“We’re excited about this move,” he said. “As a fast growing technology company we feel it’s important to be in a creative space and Lone Wolf helped us find that here in Washougal.”

Monique Rice, vice president of sales and marketing for Effective Web Solutions (www.effectivewebsolutions.biz), said Washougal is a “perfect fit” for creatives because they can get good value out of their leases, can enjoy a high quality-of-life (proximity to the Washougal River, Columbia River Gorge, etc.) and they typically don’t require a lot of foot traffic.

“We actually needed quiet so that we didn’t have constant interruption,” she said, “but it is up and coming down here. We have a brewery down the way, little sandwich shops are popping up – we even have a juice business that delivers on a bike.”

Based on growth statistics, downtown Washougal is, in fact, up and coming. Over the past four years, the number of businesses on Main Street has more than tripled – from less than 15 in 2008 to around 50 this year.

Heather Jordan, principal and creative director of D.Studio 21 (www.dstudio21.com), moved her firm from Southwest Portland to 1887 Main Street in Washougal last year.

“When I first came to downtown Washougal, the energy felt creative to me,” she said. “Things were morphing and changing and there was a real excitement surrounding that change. I feel like from a creative standpoint, that can really breed some unique thinking and provide opportunities for relationship development. So even though it’s in its infancy in some regard, I think that is what drives people to the area – this idea of opportunity and being able to make it your own.”

“Employers start to find us and then it becomes a snowball,” noted Taylor. “It’s really exciting to see the people that are starting to show up. We’ve just always believed this is a good place for the creative cultural environment to exist. It just needed some seeds planted and now it’s starting to grow.”

 

Transport Holdings Relocates to Washougal Town Square

From the Camas Washougal Post Record – November 12th, 2013

A corporation that handles the shipping of more than 50,000 cars, trucks, SUVs and vans a year has moved from downtown Camas to downtown Washougal.

Transport Holding Co., Inc., has leased the 3,080-square-foot Suite 230, in Washougal Town Square.

It operates six auto shipping brokerages. Three are based out of the Washougal office, and the other three are in Phoenix, Ariz. Terry Williams, president and chief executive officer, splits his time between the two cities.