By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Along the Street: What’s going up — and coming down

Marcus Larson/News-Register
G&P Obrist Excavating workers Mike Taylor and Mike Sayles clear out rubble from an apartment building at 429 S.E. Baker
St. that burned Nov. 30, 2020.
Marcus Larson/News-Register G&P Obrist Excavating workers Mike Taylor and Mike Sayles clear out rubble from an apartment building at 429 S.E. Baker St. that burned Nov. 30, 2020.

Here are some commercial building projects under way in Yamhill County communities:

- The old McMinnville Apartments building on Baker Street near Handley has been razed. No plans for the site have been announced.

The building, at 429 S.E. Baker St., burned Nov. 30, 2020, displacing 17 residents who had occupied 14 apartments. No injuries were reported.

Built in the 1930s, the apartment structure had been remodeled in the early 2000s. It contained nine studio apartments and eight one-bedroom units, mostly on the first and second floors; one apartment and the laundry room were in the basement.

At the time of the blaze, fire officials said there were sprinklers in the hallways and stairwells, but not in the apartments themselves. They ruled the fire accidental, the result of a cooking accident.

- Site work is under way for Organic Valley’s new plant in McMinnville, located on the site of the old Organic Valley/Farmers’ Co-op Creamery plant that burned down in April.

The first phase of the new plant is expected to open in spring, to accept milk tankers and resume making powdered milk. The second phase will come in 2023.

Organic Valley considered other options after the fire, but announced in October that it would rebuild in McMinnville. Mayor Scott Hill said that is great news for McMinnville’s economy, as well as the organic farmers in Yamhill County and other parts of Oregon.

- The old 411 restaurant space has been cleaned out at 411 N.E. Third St. Work is beginning on a new fine-dining establishment, to be called Humble Spirit.

The 411 closed after chef/owner Rick Drakely died suddenly March 7, 2021.

- Construction work is now enclosed at the Willamette Valley Vineyards’ new sparkling wine facility beside Highway 99W near Archery Summit Road, just west of Dundee. Work continues on the interior of the two-story building.

In addition, crews are installing landscaping and a large water feature that surrounds the new branch of Willamette Valley Vineyards, which is based in Turner south of Salem.

WVV also has a tasting room at Third and Cowls streets in McMinnville. In addition to wine, the McMinnville site contains art from the Geezer Gallery, a program for artists 60 and older that raises funds for art therapy for seniors.

- Dr. Melinda Judd’s new dental office, Copper Dental, has opened at 1945 N.W. Second St., McMinnville. For more information, call 503-687-1953.

- Remodeling soon will be wrapped up at Farnham Electric, 1050 N.E. Lafayette Avenue.

- In Sheridan, new tanks and a modern convenience store are being installed at a longtime gas station site in the center of town, just across from the bridge.

- On Highway 18 at Gopher Valley Road, work continues on a new convenience store, coffee shop and Chevron gas station. Developer Paul Johal said it is expected to open in early spring.

- Work continues on the Heider Building in downtown Sheridan, which is being converted into retail space on the first floor, with eight apartments above.

- The Ferryman Building in downtown Lafayette is being remodeled.

- Work continues on Linfield University’s new Keck/Graf Hall science complex, which is supposed to open in fall 2022 in the center of campus.

- Tiny house lodgings are taking shape at the new Boutique Retreat Wine Country Vacation Cottages, which are set to open in spring 2022 at Ninth Street and Alpine Avenue.

- The Granary Row food court building remains under construction at 1039 N.E. Lafayette Avenue. It will hold four micro-restaurants, owner Chae Jordan Pak said.

- Construction will begin in spring for four new buildings at 1245 N.E. Alpha Drive in McMinnville’s Industrial District. The buildings will contain 16 units, 10 of them about 2,000 square feet each and six 3,200 square feet each.


Business strategies

The first step in improving your business, consultant Amanda Bedell said, is “recognizing you need something.”

More training, for instance.

And that’s what she offers through her company, BCC Business Consulting, which she started in May after moving from Seattle to McMinnville.

She contracts with companies for a variety of trainings and assistance, both in-person and online. This fall, she is offering a series of free “Business Mastery” starter workshops to help business owners and to market her own services, as well.

The next workshops will be Dec. 6, on Hiring and Keeping Employees; Dec. 13, Lead Generation; and Dec. 20, Conversions & Sales.

Lunch is included with the workshops at Alt Coworking, 609 N.E. Third St., McMinnville. Pre-registration is required at 206-423-5181.

Bedell knows from experience the trials and tribulations of running a small business, for which the owner is responsible for everything.

She started a bakery and quickly expanded. It appeared successful from the outside, but she was working far too much and barely making a living, she said.

“I thought huge, and I fell on my face,” she said.

But she learned many invaluable lessons, she said, and now she uses what she learned as a business consultant.

Bedell’s background includes marketing and public relations, as well as business. She now works with owners to help them increase sales and profits and make time for planning and for themselves, as well as for nurturing their companies.

“I am now on a mission to ensure no business owner breaks as I did,” she said.

Bedell said she presents “a proven and time-tested road map that provides the exact steps to more cash flow and freedom.”

Her Business Mastery programs teach no-cost strategies that can be used immediately, she said.

For instance, during a recent workshop, she advised businesses to raise their prices to show the value of their goods and services. Many businesses start without really considering their prices based on their own costs and the value they provide, she said.

She also advised trimming costs while enticing customers to shop more frequently and buy more each time. And she told them to listen to their customers with empathy and ask questions — but not the too-frequently heard, “So what do you think?”

She encouraged owners and managers to make their business unique, but to work with other businesses, as well, such as working together to offer customers products or experiences that will benefit both the businesses involved.

“Business is about relationships,” with both customers and other partners, she said.

For more tips and information about Bedell’s workshops, go to her website,


Santa salon

Colorful McCaw, a salon, barbershop and cosmetics shop at 525 N.E. Baker St., will host a visit from Santa from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27.

Children and families can have their photos taken with Santa and enjoy hot cocoa, too. In return, they need to bring a blanket, sleeping bag or non-perishable food to donate to the Gospel Rescue Mission.

Signups are necessary. Go to the Colorful McCaw Facebook page or call 971-901-2575.


Chamber Greeters

Kathleen’s Hallmark, 1321 N.E. Highway 99W, McMinnville, will be the site of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce Greeters program Friday, Dec. 3.

Offered both in-person and on Zoom, it will run from 8 to 9 a.m. For more information, go to the Chamber website,

The Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce will host its Greeters program at Columbia Bank, 3500 Portland Road, Newberg, from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 3. For more information, go to


Baker Rock acquired

Knife River Corporation, the construction materials subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc., has acquired Baker Rock Resources and Oregon Mainline Paving of McMinnville.

Baker Rock, headquartered in Beaverton, has an office on Cumulus Avenue in McMinnville and a plant in Dayton, just off Highway 18 adjacent to the Yamhill River. Companywide, it maintains 83 to 88 million tons of aggregate resources, said David C. Barney, president and CEO of Knife River.

In 2014, Baker Rock purchased Oregon Mainline, which was founded in McMinnville in 1963. It is one of Oregon’s largest asphalt paving contractors, operating two portable asphalt plants and three paving crews. Together, the two companies will add about 230 employees to Knife River’s Northwest Region, the CEO said.

“Acquiring this excellent aggregate resource helps replenish our reserves near the heart of the growth and positions us for continued success in an area we know very well,” Barney said. In addition, he said, “Oregon Mainline provides greater reach for our paving operations in the Northwest.”

Knife River Corporation mines aggregates and markets crushed stone, sand, gravel and related construction materials, including ready-mix concrete, cement, asphalt, liquid asphalt and other value-added products. It also performs integrated construction services.

For more information, visit


On the road

Les Schwab Tire Centers are offering free pre-trip safety checks.

Drivers can schedule appointments to have workers check tires, tire pressure and wheels, and visually inspect steering, battery, brakes, suspension and alignment.

For more information, call the McMinnville Les Schwab, at 503-472-4668.


Nursing opportunities

Linfield University will launch a new program in January 2023 aimed at helping people start nursing careers after working in other fields.

Students will be able to leverage their previous education and career experience to “seamlessly pivot to a new career: nursing,” said Dr. Kim Dupree Jones, dean of the Linfield School of Nursing.

New nurses will find a wide-open job market, she said.

The nursing campus is based in Portland. Students can earn some of their bachelor’s degree requirements on the McMinnville campus before transferring to the Portland campus, or start the new master’s entry into professional nursing program after earning a BA in or working in other fields.

Linfield will be the first Oregon school offering this opportunity, which the Board of Trustees approved in November. MPEN’s 18-month course includes online and on-campus classes, clinical rotation and preparation for licensing exams.

Prospective students can sign up for the MPEN e-mail list or find other information at

Send business news to Starla Pointer at


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