It’s been more than six years since Nick Echelbarger and Salish Crossing LLC took over the old Waterfront Antique Mall and associated buildings between the Edmonds train station and Sunset Avenue and began the renaissance that transformed it into Salish Crossing.
“We took an area that was like a little black eye on our town, and over the years worked with some absolutely outstanding tenants, architects, landscape architects and leasing agents to turn it into a grand front door for Edmonds,” said Echelbarger, who grew up in Edmonds and is part of a family with deep local roots. “In addition to some amazing local businesses that are real success stories in themselves, Scratch Distillery and 190 Sunset to name only two, it’s home to the Cascadia Art Museum that draws visitors from the Puget Sound area, outside the state and internationally.
“I’ve really enjoyed working on the project, and I believe in keeping it reflective of our community and hometown values,” he continued. “Over the years I’ve turned down a number of potential national tenants in favor of local ones who understand the Pacific Northwest and Edmonds.”
With the success and stability of Salish Crossing now a fait accompli, Echelbarger — a problem-solver by nature — is looking for new challenges.
“Now that the problem is fixed and we’re 100 percent leased, it’s time to move on,” he said. “I’ve been noodling on finding a new owner for Salish Crossing for about a year now. For myself, I’m definitely on the lookout for other projects like this in the Puget Sound area and Washington state. It’s the kind of thing I really enjoy — solving problems.”
But will a new owner bring changes that could adversely affect the local flavor and ambiance of Salish Crossing?
“Nothing here will change,” he said. “For Edmonds residents, the switch to a new owner will be transparent. All our tenants have leases locked in, and no one is going anywhere.
“Both Brigid’s Bottle Shop and 190 Sunset have plans to expand,” he continued. “But these are already in the works and won’t be affected by any change in ownership.”
And he promises “zero change” in commuter parking beyond removing the fence that currently separates the Salish Crossing lot from the train station. “This will make access to the station much more direct, and avoid making commuters walk around the fence to get to the train platform,” he added.
Regarding when a sale might happen, Echelbarger indicated that it’s all dependent on finding the right buyer. “We’ve had lots of interest,” he said. “Most inquiries are from local Puget Sound-area buyers who understand our conventions and community.”
— By Larry Vogel