Downtown Olympia has been the hub and heart of the city for many decades and has witnessed a series of shifts over the years. The pandemic and other economic impacts have left downtown in a state of uncertainty for business owners and residents alike. Recently, new life has been slowly integrating into Downtown Olympia, bringing with it new opportunities for growth, development, and connection with our local entrepreneurs, developers, and community members. The Rants Group has contributed hugely in managing and overseeing the sale of various commercial properties downtown that have promoted rejuvenation in our city.

New and Established Businesses Break Ground in Olympia

Capitol Theater Building in Olympia
The Capitol Theater Building is home to many wonderful businesses. It recently sold to a new investor and continues to be managed by The Rants Group. Photo credit: Nate Burger of OlyREP Photography

Olympia is budding with opportunity as more people move into our community, and many business owners are looking for ways to help serve newcomers and established residents. Commercial space in Downtown Olympia is one of the best ways to be front and center in the community. This year, The Rants Group has managed and coordinated the sale of many commercial buildings in the downtown area, which has allowed our local businesses to thrive and enter a new market in Olympia.

The Capitol Theater Building located at Washington Street and 5th Avenue was put up for sale earlier this year and quickly gained interest from investors. In June, The Rants Group closed on the transaction and welcomed the new owner into the Downtown Olympia community. They have also retained the space as property managers and will continue to work with tenants and conduct leasing management. The space has become the home to many local businesses, including Painted Plate, Ember Goods, and Rumors Wine Bar. Holy Lamb Organics recently relocated from their commercial space on Thurston Avenue into one of the ground-floor retail spaces and has their administrative operations in one of the second-floor office spaces.

Steam Plant Building in Olympia
After leasing the space for many years, SkyBear Media had the opportunity to purchase the Steam Plant Building. They are in the process of renovating the second story space into an event loft. Photo credit: Billy Christensen

The Steam Plant Building located at 113 Thurston Avenue was formerly occupied by Holy Lamb Organics and SkyBear Media. When Holy Lamb Organics moved, SkyBear Media was given the opportunity to take over the space as both an occupant and an owner. The Rants Group had the privilege of representing both sides of the transaction for the seller and SkyBear Media, which helped make the transaction smoother, considering its complications. The building was unfortunately damaged during a fire in the apartment building across the alley that had burned down. The Rants Group worked diligently to make sure things could be taken care of on both sides to pave the way for repairs. With their help and support, SkyBear Media now proudly owns the Steam Plant Building and is eager to further renovate the space to create a wedding loft as an event venue on the second story of the building.

Revival Motors was also impacted by the apartment fire on Capitol Way. Since their business occupied the commercial space in the building, they had lost everything in the fire and had been left with no place to go. Luckily, The Rants Group was able to help them achieve commercial ownership through the sale of an old dry cleaner at 606 Union Avenue. Revival Motors has now been able to begin rebuilding their business and is in the process of remodeling the space to once again provide their niche combination of motorcycle repair and coffee. For The Rants Group, it was hugely rewarding to be able to help support them after their loss and see them find a new opportunity elsewhere in Downtown Olympia.

A New Lease on Life for Business Owners in Downtown Olympia

Downtown Olympia has seen its fair share of businesses come and go over the years, but recently life has been breathed back into downtown as local businessowners expand into available commercial spaces. There has been little vacancy downtown, which is a sign that the businesses in Downton Olympia are experiencing economic success as they come out of the pandemic. This year, The Rants Group has served business owners and property owners alike as they supported local leasing efforts in the downtown area.

Rants Group Downtown
Last Word Books took over the 6,000-square-foot space available in the front half of the Kelly Building at 4th and Franklin. Photo credit: Billy Christensen

At 510 Columbia Street SW, a space came available during COVID-19. North West Meats had been established in Hawks-Prairie as a butcher shop selling both meat and seafood and was looking to expand into a second location. They eagerly jumped on the opportunity to lease the space near Hannah’s Bar & Grill and Hotstone, which also serves a local hotspot for the surrounding residential apartment buildings. As the property manager and leasing agent for the space, The Rants Group was excited to welcome a new business into the downtown community. North West Meats is currently renovating the space and is hoping to open their doors to the public before the end of summer.

The Kelley Building on the corner of 4th Avenue and Franklin Street was sold in December of 2021 and was recently leased out to Last Word Books. They will be taking over the front half of the space, which will be converted into 3,000 square feet of literature and more.

Additionally, a few long-time and established Washington companies recently moved their headquarters to the Columbia Street shopping mall in Downtown Olympia. Although they weren’t represented by The Rants Group, Mud Bay and FORMA Construction now both reside in the commercial space next to Harbor Heights Apartments.

The Rants Group has been thrilled to see growth and success happening in Downtown Olympia. Explore Downtown Olympia and experience the vibrancy of our new and established businesses as they open their doors. To learn more, visit  The Rants Group website.

The Rants Group
724 Columbia Street NW #140, Olympia


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