From Fords to hot tubs
A building that once showcased Fords will now showcase hot tubs.
Sunrise Pools and Spas owner Brad Forseth has purchased the old Shrum Ford building on Northeast Third Street and plans to move in before the end of the year.
"It can accommodate the space that I need to grow right now," Forseth said of the historic Prineville building. "There's a lot of stories there, and I hated seeing it torn down."
Forseth has owned Sunrise Pools and Spas since 1994, offering pools, customized patio work, a full line of spas, and chemicals, parts and accessories. He and his five employees also have multiple commercial accounts, providing pool and spa services to various facilities.
He has occupied his current building at the corner of Northwest Third and Northwest Deer streets for many years, but his business has outgrown the building.
The location and the large showroom attracted Forseth to the former Shrum Ford building, which has been on the market for several years.
"There's plenty of available room. Yes, it does need some work, but nothing real major, just mainly cleanup and cosmetic," Forseth said of the building.
The 12,655-foot building, which features five bays with rollup shop doors in the front, a showroom, four bays in the back, and office space, is situated on a 1.86-acre triangular lot facing Northeast Third Street next to the Dollar Tree.
Milton "Bud" Shrum had the building constructed in 1967 for his Shrum Ford Sales business, which he started in 1954 with his brother, Wilbur. Bud Shrum ran the Ford business until 2001, when he sold the dealership back to the Ford corporation.
In 1964, he began operating his Ochoco Ready Mix business and eventually operated out of the dealership location. Shrum passed away in 2013, and his family continued to operate the Ochoco Ready Mix business from that location until the end of 2017.
Forseth purchased the building this summer and soon hired local crews to begin the renovation work, including parking lot construction, asbestos abatement, heating and cooling, and electric work. The walls, ceilings and flooring are being replaced.
"It will be recognizable," Forseth said, noting that he's not going to have any significant changes made. "We're going to clean it up, bring it up to code, new painting, new parking lot and go from there."
He said the east end of town is almost unrecognizable from yesteryear, other than that building.
"I thought that it would be nice to keep something there," Forseth said. "It's also cool to have that nostalgia there. It makes it more interesting."
He hopes to move his business in by December and plans to fill the showroom floor with hot tubs, use the east side of the building for offices, and use the garage behind the showroom for storage. The west wing with the bays will also be used for storage.
For now, Sunrise Pools and Spas will be the only business in the building.
"I'm going to have some extra space for rent, but nothing is final on who's moving in there yet," Forseth pointed out.
He says he's grateful for Loraine Brunner at Cascade Country Consultants, Mike Testerman at Central Oregon Credit Union, and Lisa Kyle at Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council for helping him with the financing and renovation funding for the building.
Forseth also thanks the community for supporting his pool and spa business over the years and for the recent support as news spreads that he has purchased the old building.
Several customers have even offered to help him move in.
"The whole community seems to be pretty excited," he says of the renovation. "I hope I can meet everybody's expectations."