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The Columbia Press

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Business and Development Tidbits for Oct. 9

Workers remove siding Wednesday from the Fenton Building in downtown Warrenton as part of its restoration project. (Cindy Yingst)
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dr. Kevin Baxter, who started his family medicine practice in Astoria in 2003, has signed an agreement with the Port of Astoria for offices on the top floor of the Pier One building.

Last month, Baxter unexpectedly resigned from his position as chief medical officer for Columbia Memorial Hospital after just nine months.

Baxter’s practice will lease two suites facing the water for $3,300 per month. The suites have some of the best views on the Columbia River waterfront.

Filling the vacant office suites is “really good news for the port,” Port of Astoria Executive Director Will Isom told port commissioners Tuesday. “It’s good news to get that occupied and get some revenue coming in for the port.”

It’s good news, too, for many patients of the popular physician who were forced to turn elsewhere when Baxter was appointed to the hospital’s top medical post.

New port building?

The Port of Astoria is mulling the purchase of a building smack dab in the middle of port property.

The building is owned by the state and was used by Oregon State University as part of its seafood research center.

The state is in the process of getting the building appraised and will pass the results on to the port for its consideration, Isom said. The 6,000-square-foot building needs a new roof and interior remodel but includes a large shop with a roll-up door and an office/administration area.

Gearhart's downtown plans

The city of Gearhart has working on rules that pertain to the city’s commercial zone, which includes most of the businesses along Pacific Way.

Proposals include allowing grocery stores and neighborhood cafes to offer “take out” and to allow some businesses to offer employee and workforce housing.

Changes also are proposed in the barber/beauty shop, art gallery/studio and variety store sections of the development code.

The town still wants to ensure “formula-use franchises” such as McDonalds or Starbucks cannot come in and compete with existing locally owned and operated businesses, Mayor Matty Brown said.

A public hearing on the proposed changes was expected to be held Thursday, Oct. 8.

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