Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hard Hat Tour

Historic Columbia Foundation
is offering a SPECIAL TOUR of 701 Whaley.
September 20, 2007
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration process of the building that was once one of the most popular gathering sites in the historic Olympia Mill neighborhood. Historic Columbia Foundation and Garvin Design Group will host a reception immediately following the tour at the Granby Mill Administration Building, located at 339 Heyward Street.

For reservations, please call 803.252.7742, ext. 29 or email


Many parts of the total project are currently underway. They include:
The steel structure for the interior section on the east side is nearly up.

The concrete block in-fill on the front lower facade has been removed.

The old roof on the west side is currently being removed in order to start the new roof membrane.
Windows on the west side are wrapping up and the plywood will come down in a few days.
The upstairs front facade windows have had new lintels installed.

The brick masons have nearly completed the west side repairs. Charlie Thompson and the Guignard family have graciously donated brick harvested from a building built during the same time period. These brick have allowed us to blend the repairs into the current brick facade. They look great!
In the next few weeks, we hope to accomplish several key parts. They include,
Setting roof top curbs for the HVAC units.
Completing the new roof on the west side. Finishing the new roof deck on the east side.
Having the new second floor deck (east side) in place.
New structural framing for the lower front facade windows.
Initial underground plumbing and electrical rough-ins underway.
New windows installed on the upper front facade.
Old in-fill on the east side (windows) removed.
There will be numerous other projects underway this month and as October and cooler weather come our way, we will see significant changes as the building starts to morph towards occupancy.

This is going to be an incredible space. A great view of the church steeple and mill and an enormous window to the east.

As always, if any of you would like to take a look, I am available to be your guide. Feel free to forward this site on to the growing number of fans interested in 701!


m: (803) 414-9450
f: (803) 254-1456

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Interest is growing for leasing space at 701.
We've had many inquiries and a lease has already been drawn up for a potential tenant.
Suite sizes range from 300 sq ft - 10,000 sq ft.
These floor plans may change slightly but they are pretty close.
You can click on images for a larger image.

If you're interested in leasing space at 701, please contact:
Richard Burts (803) 414-9450

701 Update
The view from the front spaces will be fabulous!

Steady progress is being made on the 701 Whaley restoration. New massive footers (foundations) have been poured and some of the new steel will be in soon.

Windows for the west wall will begin arriving in August.

The concrete block fill in the front can be removed in August as well.

The stripping of paint on the exterior brick facade, which has long been pink in color, is nearing completion.

What a difference in the look of this extraodinary old Mill building a little time has made!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Columbia Design League Presents

The Columbia Design League and the Columbia Museum of Art Present "701 Whaley".
MAY 11 @ The Columbia Museum of Art
6:00 cocktails
6:30 showing

I've been working on a documentary for the past year, talking to people in the Pacific/Olympia/Granby Mill village area, who shall be referred to as POG Mill Village...How's that? Too long. How bout just POG.
Anyhoo, I've interviewed about 10 or so people thus far, shot over 14 hours of tape, gathered a good bit of materials and am continually researching -particularly 701 Whaley, who shall now be referred to as "701 Whaley". "Gallery 701" was a great name but now it is "701 Whaley" or just "701" if you like.... Say it with me " 7 0 1 Whaley" Again - 7 0 1 Whaley
7 0 1 Whaley
7 0 1 Whaley
7 0 1 Whaley
7 0 1 Whaley
7 0 1 Whaley
It just rolls off the tongue don't ya think?

On May 11th I'll show some clips I've edited and some other things not seen yet.

My plan is to continue to talk with folks and find archival photos/film and then to finish the documentary when the building is renovated and in use - which the hope is 2008ish.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Vision

First Rendering by Garvin Design Group

This building is going to be GREAT!

701 is a bit quiet on the outside but many things imperative to the development are happening.

Testing - this part is really eating up the clock but can not be avoided. We have had a total of three different pull out tests done to determine the strength of the brick and mortar.

Architecture - Robert and I have reviewed plans and elevations produced by Garvin. The upstairs floor plan is getting very close. The downstairs floor plan is largely open space and at this time we are positioning the floor plan to have some leeway to accommodate a variety of possible future tenants.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Update from Richard 2/07

Phase 1 - demolition and stabilization are finished. The building ends are nicely tarped off from further exposure to the weather.

The last of the environmental abatement was completed.
The brick and mortar strength testing has been performed.

Three elevator companies have been on site. The shaft is the only thing that can be saved according to all three companies. The general feeling is that a new elevator including shaft, in the long run, might be more cost effective.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This is what is NEW.

A task force was formed to help steer the use of 701 Whaley with
two committees so far. For-profit and nonprofit.

The vision for the nonprofit is to turn around 12,000sq ft of the upstairs into artist studio, gallery and administrative space.

The non-profit now has an official name:
Center for Contemporary Art

There has been tremendous interest and things are moving fast.
The nonprofit application process is underway and we are looking at grant opportunities.

I think some of the 2nd floor tenants will be getting a brand new floor & ceiling!

The for-profit direction has entertained lots of great ideas with a vision towards an event hall with complimentary retail for the downstairs.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The New Year at 701

We have entered 2007 with the expectation that 701 Whaley will be nearly full with occupants by years end. This is our main goal's target date and needs to be shared by everyone on the team as we race toward Spring...

The week between Christmas and New Years saw no activity on 701. This week the abatement contractor is alone in the building and should be wrapping up by weeks end. Other key items being worked on this week include architectural, structural engineering, and soil test preparations.

Hard target dates for key phases during the year are being refined.

Advisory committees for the building's use are being set up and we are excited about what the possibilities are.
More to come on that soon!