Historical Wallan Shepard space gets renovation
HD Enterprises owners Jeff and Nicole Hassannia have the Madras area at heart, so when they heard about an outdated downtown building coming up for sale, they jumped at the chance.
After a year of renovations and assistance from a Madras Redevelopment Commission grant, they have opened the Wallan Shepard Building on Southeast Fifth and C streets.
"Our business model is to essentially come in and find properties that have been neglected for whatever reason – there's always a story – and put in a good solid investment and focus on beautifying and renovating and making the aesthetics marvelous," Jeff said.
"It's a focus on transformation," Nicole added. "Most of our tenants that we find are people that are transitioning into their first space."
That is just the case with Angela Rhodes, who opened her Penelope's Soaps and Such retail shop last week in the north half of the newly renovated space. It was most recently Esmeralda's Fashion.
Wallan Shepard Office Suites offers five spaces in the south section of the building, ranging from 150 to 300 square feet each. There's a shared lobby, break room and restrooms. Nelson Law, private investigator firm Powlison Communications, and Mai Vox Art photo studio rent three of the offices, and the other two suites are available.
Jeff was raised in Oregon and has been coming to Jefferson County since he was a teen. The Hassannias had a home in the Culver area at one time, and his parents also lived there.
"I've always felt like Madras is THE place," Jeff says, noting all of Jefferson County's attributes – the lake and mountains as well as being close to an airport and a big city. "It's beautiful, it's outdoorsy, great hiking trails. The city is vibrant. The city is eager to grow responsibly."
In 2015, the couple started HD Enterprises, a real estate investment company. They now have more than 40 units in Central Oregon and Maryland. They live in Maryland, where Jeff works in the aerospace industry for the U.S. government, but their dream is to return to Oregon.
They acquired the 4,000-square-foot Fifth Street property that adjoins Dreams Realty Group in early 2020, purchasing it from Doug Shepard and Helmer Wallan, who owned the building for many decades as a law firm.
"Keeping true to the history and heritage of the building, we put up a sign under the awning calling it the Wallan Shepard Building," Jeff said, noting that Wallan has passed away but Shepard still visits the building periodically. "We have spent the last year renovating and beautifying the property and are really excited about what it has become."
They worked with the city, and through a facade improvement grant, they were able to modernize and beautify the front and side of the building. Larry Lance of Lance Construction was the contractor and removed the old and dated facade and installed new doors, windows, lights, upgraded awning, signage, among other exterior improvements. They also gutted and refurbished the interiors.
"It's taken us a lot longer than we wanted, mainly because of COVID," Jeff said.
Nicole developed a concept to paint the south wall with a mural highlighting the 2017 solar eclipse event. The mural was a collaboration between Nicole, the local chamber and the artist, Karen Eland.
"The feedback we have received on the mural has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are proud of this," Jeff said.
The Hassannias said Madras city leaders were wonderful to work with on this project.
"We're excited to really showcase all the work that went into it. The building certainly was made with love and a lot of sweat and some tears," Nicole said.
Owners: Jeff and Nicole Hassannia
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