Lender moves into Fisher Bros. building
Regional lender Craft3 has opened its Astoria office, consolidating 20 staff from Pier 39 and Ilwaco, Washington, inside the 114-year-old Fisher Bros. Building.
Craft3, which announced the move last year, hired Palmberg Development & Construction to renovate the 114-year-old structure. The Fisher Bros. Co. occupied the building from 1906 to 2006, when its parent company, Englund Marine & Industrial Supply, consolidated into a new location on Hamburg Avenue at the Port of Astoria.
Craft3 occupies the entire first floor of the Fisher Bros. Building, with four apartments upstairs renovated by developer Chester Trabucco. Palmberg tore out walls from the former storefronts, creating a contiguous office space filled with cubicles reclaimed from a former warehouse on Astoria’s Pier 3, held together with fittings forged by Jacob’s Hammer Custom Metal Works in Chinook, Washington. The entire office was wired for telecommunications to connect the lender’s distant locations around the Pacific Northwest. Craft3 will also have The Fisher Bros. Co. and The Linen Thread Co. murals on the outside walls of the building refurbished, likely next year.
Chief Operating Officer Sonya Lynn said the consolidated offices in Astoria might be new, but not Craft3. “You can’t throw a stone in Astoria where we haven’t touched,” she said.
Over its history, Craft3 has lent about $33 million in Clatsop County and $20 million in Pacific County. Carl Seip, a spokesman for Craft3, said that dollar-wise, about three-quarters of the lender’s business is commercial, with another 25 percent focused on consumer products.
Clatsop County entities receiving financing from Craft3 include Clatsop Community College, Bridgewater Bistro and Fort George Brewery. Craft3 helped finance improvements by developer Floyd Holcom to Pier 39, along with the purchase of the Fisher Bros. Building by Joe Barnes.
Seip said the majority of Craft3’s consumer lending has been in Pacific County, where a partnership with the county government offers clean water loans to help renovate a failing sewer system. Craft3 recently expanded the program statewide in Oregon, through a partnership with the state Department of Environmental Quality, and has helped finance more than $340,000 in sewer system upgrades.
Craft3 also helps finance loans to cover the living expenses of women attending the Ada Developer’s Academy in Seattle, which helps women trying to enter the technology sector.
“We are pleased to have found a great spot to consolidate our presence in the lower Columbia” River, Craft3 President and CEO Adam Zimmerman said in a release. “The mouth of the river, both sides, has been home for 22 years, and we look forward to many more decades of making investments in our friends and neighbors around the region.”