Peter Lunoak and Ian Bagshaw talk about upcoming cycling events across the valley at the soon-to-reopen Flywheel Bicycle Solutions. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]
Peter Lunoak doing cleaning work in Talent Freewheel Bike Solutions’ showroom. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]
The exterior of Flywheel Bicycle Solutions is being painted as businesses prepare to reopen. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]
More businesses along Talent Highway 99 are reopening or nearing completion two years after the Almeida fire destroyed the business district.
Flywheel Bicycle Solutions is expected to open later this fall. Jahnke Heating & Air Conditioning has returned to the new building with a grand opening in October. 8. Valley Plastic Surgery has reopened.
Green Valley Pump’s office building is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year. Star Body Works is under construction, and the Simple Machine winery opened last October, one of the first redevelopments in the district. Some buildings on the east side of the highway are outside the city limits.
The Flywheel at 550 S. Pacific Highway will welcome a new owner. Founder Ian Bagshaw has sold the business to his manager Pete Lunoak, but will retain ownership of the building and property. Bagshaw will remain in the business but will transition from mechanical work.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while. After the fire, I was very upset. I’m not sure I want to go back,” Bagshaw said. “The idea of starting over is pretty daunting. If it wasn’t for Peter encouraging me, I might have sold the property.”
During the rebuild, the duo used blank slate to rearrange the interior of the structure for better bike repair and sales. It used to be a burger joint and then a beauty academy. It has the same footprint as the old building.
The company will continue to sell beer, wine and cider at the in-house bar, a welcome addition that attracts riders and food trucks. By rebuilding, the facility can better accommodate food trucks.
“I’m building cabinets, benches and plinths. For the most part, we’re just finishing the interior,” said Lunoak, who was a manager two and a half years before the fire.
“Having a blank slate really frees us up to optimize the layout and make the workstations really flow better. Plus, we don’t have all the weird intersecting walls and columns,” Lunoak said.
Supply chain issues from the pandemic are fading, Lunoak said. The bicycle market has also slowed after strong demand in the first year of the pandemic. He already has some bikes to sell, and more to come.
Green Valley Pump’s new office building at 609 S. Pacific Highway is closed. Operations manager Leigh Johnson said Green Valley could be relocated after the fires, but the company owned the sites. Everything at the scene was burned, including three buildings and three cars.
“Office space depends on the city and the county. The hope is that by the end of the year, we’ll be running there,” Johnson said. The company started doing business with Talent in the 1970s. The location is outside the city limits.
The estimated cost of nearly $1 million to rebuild the store prevented rebuilding at this time. Three months after the fire, the Green Valley business was back on site. Trailers are used for offices and large metal shipping containers have been configured for workshop and storage use.
After the fire, Yanke ran his business outside of White City, returning to talent at 112 South Pacific Highway. The grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, October 6th. On the 8th, the Southern Oregon Humane Society will offer pet adoption services during the event. A new large metal building replaced the burned-out structure. The company has been talent-based since 1987.
A new structure is under construction at the Star Body Works property at 1119 S. Pacific Highway at the southern end of the commercial corridor, the facade of an old metal building that survived the fire but was damaged at the rear. The property is located outside the city limits.
“The back is going to be redesigned. We have to replace some of the red iron,” said JR Lamensdorf, the company’s co-owner. The offices there used to be completely burnt down. The front addition will serve as an office. Star Body relocated all Talent employees to other Medford locations for body shop and trailer operations.
There is a paint booth inside the metal building, and the company aims to reopen the site by the end of the year. New tarmac and landscaping will be installed up front. Site fencing is partially completed and will be completed when structural work is completed.
Valley Plastic Surgery at 280 S. Pacific Highway reopens after reconstruction. Managers are unable to discuss details.
Owners Clea Arthur and Brian Denner reopened the Simple Machine Winery and Tasting Room last October at 717 S. Pacific Highway after redevelopment. They used a 2,700-square-foot concrete pad from the original structure, but reconfigured it to better accommodate winemaking.
The land occupied by the Good Night Motel at 210 North Pacific Highway before the fire is now approved for commercial and residential development, but work has yet to begin.
Additionally, Snap Fitness reopened Saturday at Talent in a new building off Highway 99 at 245 W. Valley View Road. The grand reopening of the new club is on Friday, September 9th. On the 30th, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held.
Talent lost 61 commercial buildings in the fire. So far, 10 permits have been issued for the redevelopment of these sites, according to community development director Kristin Metz.
Contact Ashland freelance writer Tony Boom at email@example.com.