Old Parsons Pharmacy sold to Caldera International
After many months of seeing 'For Sale' and 'Sale Pending' signs on the Parsons building in the center of downtown, it has finally come out of escrow and is being redesigned for Caldera International.
The company, which is nearly 20 years old, makes therapy products for people and pets and will be assembling those products in a small area of the building.
The building was bought by Daniel Godfrey, the founder of Caldera International, which makes hot and cold therapy wraps designed to relieve aching muscles. Down the road, they are looking to get into the horse market, Godfrey told The Herald.
However, it seems to some residents that putting an assembly line downtown is almost against Canby's work to revitalize the area. Some residents have expressed that assembly work should be in the industrial park, but others, including the staff of various city departments, welcome the new venture.
"It's not as unusual as you think," said Bryan Brown, the city's planning director, who noted the majority of floor space will be used for meeting and storage rooms. "The majority of space won't be used for manufacturing or assembly, [but] if production increases then they will have to move to the industrial park.
"We had to weigh the uses; this isn't the absolute best use for the space, but a viable use is better than an empty building," Brown added.
That statement was echoed by Economic Development Director Jamie Stickel.
"It's not a manufacturing business, its office and flex space and better than a vacant building," she said.
She noted that only 438 square feet will be used for assembly and there will be two flex spaces of about 1,500 square feet each for retail businesses. Godfrey has also been part of the downtown revitalization meetings, coming to the second meeting and said he wants to be part of the community, Stickel said.
"He's passionate about this. While he's not from Canby, his connections to the community are long and only going to grow in the future," she told The Herald.
"I'm not going to make everyone happy," Godfrey said in response to those who think he should be in the industrial park. But he plans to be an active participant within the city.
"There will be two other tenants in the building," Godfrey said. "I want to give back to the city and I will hand-pick businesses that will complement downtown."
Right now he is talking to a Japanese restaurant that may use a 1,800 square-foot area of the building, and there's another 1,500 square feet that he's planning on leasing to another business. Caldera will have a small area for assembly with offices, a conference room, a break room and storage.
But that will have to wait while he improves the current building.
The first order of business was removing the asbestos. Once that's complete, he will have a new roof put on and provide a new HVAC system.
"I'm putting more than $500,000 into the building and hoping that I'm giving back to the community, and I hope to be a vital part of the community," he told the Herald.
He expects the development process to take about three months.
"I want to be a vital part of the community helping to support schools and being a good steward and by bringing more to the city," Godfrey said.
When asked about parking, he noted there are no city restrictions and there is plenty of parking on the street, but the parking lot itself may become private, he said.
"There's plenty of parking downtown."
Godfrey happened upon the Parsons building by accident.
He was looking for a house for his daughter and husband in Canby and found the building. It took about six months for the sale to go through. At least 90 of those days were taken up working with the city, "doing due process meeting with the city," he said.
He's currently in Tigard, but grew up nearby in Sherwood and admits to loving Canby.
"I love Canby and its growth as a city. Parsons actually was one of my first customers in 2001."
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