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Realty agency moves into space at 616 First Street, built in 1907 as the Union Building

Coldwell Banker Professional Group is a real estate company with offices located throughout Oregon. The Newberg office has been around for 30 years and started in an office building on Highway 99W and Elliott Road, then during the recession the company downsized and moved into a smaller space on First Street.GARY ALLEN - Coldwell Banker remodeled space in the historic building on 616 First St. that was built in 1907.

But then the local office has experienced growing pains.

"It was time to get into a bigger space and when Janis (Jewelry and Gifts) became available we decided to move in," said Lucinda Hage, owner. The new location is on 616 First St. and is registered at the National Register of Historic Places as a historical site built in 1907. Before Coldwell Banker moved in a few weeks ago the building was remodeled to emulate the urban feel of the area.

The space on 616 First St. was formerly a gift shop, an antique store and a Coast to Coast store. There are apartments upstairs that were renovated about a decade ago. Yet, the history of 616 First St. goes back a bit further.

The building was built by the Union Building Company, according to the National Register, with the addresses of 612 to 616 First St. It was then called the Union Block Building, as well as the Wilson Building in honor of the Wilson Furniture store that was located there for many years.

The building also housed the Bank of Newberg for a time in its eastern-most section. It soon switched from a state to federal bank with a name change to National Bank of Newberg. Afterwards, it was purchased by First National Bank of Portland in 1936 with the Imperial Hotel located in the west half of the building from 1907 to 1929.

Many of the buildings of the era on First Street were made from locally-produced bricks. Coldwell Banker decided to preserve the brick walls when it restored the space.

"We love the brick. It is very urban and gives it a warm and charming feeling," Hage said. "The brick is one of our favorite parts about the space. Most of the remodel is in the back, a new kitchen, conference room and special custom restoration.

"It was a pretty empty shell and (we) installed a fireplace to make it a homey feel. … We had some local people do some all barn wood pieces and we just hung up a lot of metal work. Pieces that were from that time period. It is about 90 percent finished. (There's) still some work to do in the back and we are looking to put in marque letters to put in the top windows. It will be really nice when it is done."

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