Anonymous donors buy Winthrop site
The Methow Conservancy, which has been headquartered in the same small space on Riverside Avenue in Winthrop for nearly 25 years, is about to get a new home.
The Conservancy announced this week that later this year it will move a couple of hundred yards down the road to the 3 Bears Café and Quilts building, thanks to anonymous donors who are purchasing the site for the nonprofit.
Cyndy and Jerry Oliver, owners of 3 Bears, said last year that they were putting the building and property up for sale. Conservancy Executive Director Jason Paulsen said in a press release that long-time supporters approached him after noticing the “for sale” sign at 3 Bears, and offered to purchase the property for the nonprofit organization. The transaction closed on Dec. 31. The Olivers will stay in the building through the end of March, according to the press release.
“We have recognized the need for more office and gathering space for several years, but the right situation just hadn’t emerged until now,” Paulsen said. “It will allow us to focus our resources on permanent land protection and conservation education and because of the unique nature of the building and property, we are excited to explore opportunities to provide community gathering spaces, too.”
With the organization’s growth, Paulsen said, the need for additional space has become more pressing. “We currently lack meeting spaces and our staff are literally bursting at the seams of the building,” he said.
The Conservancy has 10 employees jammed into cramped spaces in its existing building, which it has occupied since its inception in 1996. The building was subsidized by Martha Kongsgaard and Peter Goldman, who co-chair the organization’s Advisory Council, Paulsen said.
Paulsen said the Conservancy is still figuring out all the potential uses for the 3 Bears building, which sits on a 4-acre site just north of the Methow River Bridge. He said outdoor uses such as demonstration gardens and educational programs are possibilities. The property is located just below the Methow Conservancy’s newly opened Meadowlark Trail and within walking distance of Homestream Park.
Because the building has a second-floor meeting space, it could become available to local organizations for gatherings, he said.
“In the upcoming months, we plan to develop a vision that includes hearing from the community about what could benefit our economy and nonprofit sector,” Paulsen said. “We are approaching this as a chance to create space that is accessible and welcoming to all.”
“We recognize the new property provides increased space and the ability to make more community connections,” Conservancy Board President David Schooler said in the release.
According to the Conservancy’s website, the organization hopes to move into the new space in fall of this year, after suitable remodeling.
Also according to the website, the Conservancy will consider possibilities for using the existing café facilities: “We recognize that the café is a viable business in Winthrop and we are exploring every option to do what’s right for our local economy and community.”
For information about the site, visit http://www.methowconservancy.org/news to find a FAQ page about the Conservancy’s plans. For more information or to offer ideas for the property, email email@example.com or call 996-2870.