Death comes for us all, even if we’re perpetually guarded by giant wooden bird figurines.
On Wednesday, the City of Chehalis’ Development Review Committee will hear a proposed new use for 2100 N. National Ave., where the structure of Yard Birds and its roadside attraction remain.
Once an Army surplus and home goods shopping center, the location has held everything from mini golf and movie theaters to grocery stores and flea market vendors. Sitting in the floodplain, though, limits its potential.
It’s currently zoned as a commercial spot, but international developer Panattoni is eyeing the possibility of demolishing the building and erecting a 622,167-square-foot warehouse, which would require an “industrial” zoning designation.
Panattoni builds large warehouses for a long list of popular brands, according to its website. Whether the area would be suitable for such a purpose remains to be seen, but Panattoni has not yet bought the property. The current Yard Birds owner said he and Panattoni were “in the process” of a potential sale, but declined to give more details.
The review documents state the project is just a “speculative warehouse” with no specific tenants at this time. The development review process, according to City of Chehalis Residential Building Inspector Josh McDrummond, is more of an “informal process” of meetings between the developer and the city.
There are “thousands” of possibilities that could come from it, McDrummond said, including a flat-out no, or more of a “do X, Y, and Z” for the project first.
McDrummond said it’s likely that the company’s purchase of Yard Birds is contingent on the property’s possible uses, but he added, “I’m only kind of speculating. I highly doubt they would buy it without doing their homework.”
Panattoni is working with Barghausen Engineers, a consulting engineering firm with an office in Chehalis.
The firm is listed as the primary contact on the project documents, but The Chronicle could not reach the project manager before press time on Monday.
The City of Chehalis earlier this year voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit against the owners of the Yard Birds Shopping Center.
Originally filed in May 2022, the lawsuit came about after the mall failed to come into compliance with a number of city code violations ranging from electrical issues stemming from a cryptocurrency mining operation set up in the building to lack of a proper sprinkler system.
Specifically, the lawsuit was filed against Peat LLC and R&D Research & Development LLC.
In November 2022, the remaining tenants and businesses were evicted from Yard Birds. Since then, the owners have made improvements and brought the building back into code compliance, according to the city.
“The investment and commitment made by the owners to bring the property to its current state is recognized and appreciated, as is their cooperation throughout the process,” the city stated in a news release last March.