New owners of Beaverton Bakery have big plans
Dan and Kat Magner, like thousands before them, got their wedding cake from Beaverton Bakery.
Dan Magner's grandfather once took young Dan to the next-door movie theater, which was converted decades ago to cold storage and commercial ovens for the bakery.
But when Dan Magner sought space to move his business elsewhere in Beaverton, the mostly vacant Beaverton Bakery complex on Broadway was not on his list.
Today, however, Dan Magner is preparing to move Miracle Sign Co. from 5th Street into the old theater on Southwest Broadway.
He and Kat Magner are planning to renovate the other buildings in the complex — including Beaverton Bakery, which shut down Sept. 27 after 93 years in business — for potential restaurant and office space.
Big O's Wood Fired Pizza, the curnt tenant at the east end of the block, will have the option of expanding. Its five-year lease, which ends Feb. 14, is for $42,735 annually.
The Magners bought the property from Charles Schubert, who has owned the property for more than 50 years, in a transaction by the Portland commercial real estate firm of Norris & Stevens.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
Norris & Stevens listed it for $1.8 million. The Washington County Assessment and Taxation Department listed the real market value of land and buildings at $581,080 as of Jan. 1, 2018, the latest date available. (A new valuation will be set this year.)
Mayor Denny Doyle says the Magners' plans fit the city's aim of transforming downtown as a destination, even before the scheduled completion of the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts in 2021.
"The exciting part is that they will use the north side of the building for production and put at least one restaurant on the south side. Big O's Pizza will likely expand. So we are excited about it," Doyle said.
"We will move heaven and earth to help them."
A specialist from the city's Economic Development Department met the Magners to discuss potential grants available for tenant and storefront improvements for downtown businesses.
Kat Magner grew up in Beaverton and graduated from Beaverton High School, as did her father and grandfather.
"This area means a lot to us," she said. "We see what is going on here and we think there is a lot of opportunity.
"We saw the property, and while it was not the ideal fit for the business, we thought it would work — and we saw the opportunity for other areas. If we found a great restaurant that could add to the neighborhood value, it seemed like an exciting prospect."
Dan Magner grew up in Forest Grove, where his father founded Miracle Sign Co. in 1977 and still operates there, as well as in Beaverton.
In additional to commercial and industrial signs, the business produces banners, decals, printed materials and vehicle wraps. Its events and promotional graphics production dovetails with Kat Magner's work at the Portland office of Canary Marketing, where she is a partner.
Dan Magner said the Beaverton Bakery property was the final of three he looked at for a business relocation. But he had just about resigned himself to moving into one of Beaverton's numerous corporate office parks as a stopgap.
"We had been looking for a spot for years. But the commercial real estate market was tough to get into. We had an offer that fell through," he said.
"We came over and looked at this — and we really liked the character of it. We wanted to stay in Beaverton, though not necessarily in downtown Beaverton."
A new use
The theater space, which includes some offices, is about 3,800 square feet.
The marquee on the old theater, which will remain, says it all: "Sold. Equipment sale Jan. 5-6."
Inside, the framings of the rear balcony and front stage are visible. But most of the space was converted in the 1980s for the larger coolers and commercial ovens used by the bakery — and virtually all of that equipment is now gone.
An undated black-and-white photo of the theater hangs across Broadway in the lobby of Giovanni's Italian Restaurant. From the films listed on the marquee — "Silver Streak" and "Norma Rae," the latter name misspelled — the photo was taken in the late 1970s.
Dan Magner said he plans to move his shop into what will become a large open space at the end of April, once electrical and heating-ventilation-air conditioning systems are upgraded.
"The contractor who is doing the HVAC work said he sneaked in to see 'The Exorcist' here," he said, referring to the 1973 film.
"We are stripping everything down to the studs."
Old candy wrappers were discovered during that process — many are brands still sold today for a lot more than 5 cents — although none of them contained actual candy.
Dan Magner estimates that more than half of his production is used out of state, although visitors to Hayward Field in Eugene saw a 40-foot-long "swoosh," Nike's trademark, on one of the tents at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team track and field trials.
The Magners are working with Guggenheim Architecture and Design Studio in Portland for eventual renovation of the rest of the complex, which consists of Beaverton Bakery's former retail space, offices within a Queen Anne-style house built in 1887, and a building that housed the bakery's wedding-cake business. That space amounts to about 9,500 square feet.
Big O's Pizza, which occupies additional space, completes the block.
"We are leaving everything on the outside intact," Dan Magner said.
Beaverton Bakery closed abruptly Sept. 27 after having operated there since 1925. Charles Schubert, who began work there in 1952, acquired it in 1965. His daughter, Carrie Ann Schubert, took over management of the bakery although he retained ownership.
Although the Sept. 27 statement the bakery posted online does not state a reason for the abrupt closure, Washington County tax records show that Beaverton Bakery was delinquent in property taxes from 2012 to 2015 amounting to a peak of $29,522.
While county records show that taxes were fully paid in 2016 and 2017, the bakery owed $9,259 in property taxes for the current budget year, plus $3,209 in delinquent taxes.
The Magners themselves do not plan to operate any of the potential businesses.
For the retail space of the former bakery, Dan Magner said, "We are trying to find someone who will be a good fit for this city and this street."
Kat Magner added: "Someone who will add to the character of the neighborhood and to this community, and has the same values we do."
For the Queen Anne house, Dan Magner said three upstairs spaces can be converted into rented offices, and the downstairs used for limited food service such as an ice cream parlor or coffee shop. He said the timbers, which are more than a century old, remain sturdy.
"We could have it refinished," he said. "I was happy when I heard the wood expert say we can save a lot more than we think."
For the wedding-cake building, Magner said the space could be suitable for a brewpub or for expansion of Big O's.
All three buildings are currently connected by an interior passageway that eliminated the former alleys.
The iconic clock put in front of the Queen Anne house in 1983 is not part of the property purchase. If it goes, Dan Magner said something will take its place in what he hopes will be a patio in front of the house.
Kat Magner: "We didn't really start small, did we?"
Dan Magner: "We tried. I think we wanted the challenge, which is more than a stressful process. It has kept us up at night, but in a good way."
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