SportsVisionBend Sees Downtown Corner Reinvention through to Fruition
There’s a new focal point downtown with the move of SportsVisionBend to a prime remodeled corner location on the resurgent Bond Street.
Curious locals have seen work undertaken at a fast clip transforming the quaint 60’s-vintage building which formerly housed the Antiquarian Bookstore at 1002 NW Bond – at the intersection with Oregon and Irving Streets – into a prominent showcase for the specialist sunglasses and prescription eyewear retailer.
The company, established in 1988, is owned by Todd and Roberta Johnson, who for many years operated out of a space on the corner of Wall and Oregon Streets in the old “Penney Galleria” multi-tenant building which was recently purchased and underwent extensive facelift work, as pedestrians who oft times traversed the scaffold-covered walkways will attest.
OnPoint Credit Union financed the projects for the Johnsons. “Sportsvision is such an iconic company with a great history in downtown Bend that it was exciting to help them achieve their goal of owning their own building,” commented Paul Stednitz, regional manager for OnPoint. “Our goal at OnPoint is to be a partner with your business by helping you with all your banking needs from working capital lines to equipment loans or the purchase or refinance of owner or non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans. We are very interested in lending to businesses. We wish Todd and Roberta the best with their new location.”
Todd Johnson said, “We wanted to think outside the box after switching gears from the previous spot, and the opportunity arose to purchase and renovate this building, which is a marquee location on Bond Street.
“Relative to the former location, in the old school days the big draws were nearby places like the Pine Tavern and Goody’s Candy Store.
“I always look at the combination of commercial traffic and visibility, and the new site benefits from a number of more contemporary factors, including proximity to the parking structure and post office, as well as hotspots like the expanded Deschutes Brewery pub and restaurant, and a mix of newer and more established businesses.
“There is a fresh vibrant feel here, and I’m happy to say we are part of a continuing renaissance around
Johnson said that previously the space, which is part of the same building shared by John Paul Designs Jewelry Studio and Gallery, together with some upper floor office suites, did not maximize its retail appeal, adding, “We wanted to retain the original structure to a large extent, but really wanted to open it up to be like one big goldfish bowl.
“Now you can stand on one side of the storefront and see right through the opposite side. We knew what we wanted from the get-go to realize the potential in opening up the space to optimize retail attraction, and the designers added their finesse to the vision.
“We were really on a fast track to get the new store opened, and it is a tribute to everyone involved that we achieved that goal.”
The revamp benefitted from previously high windows relative to the street being broken out, along with a series of cosmetic and functional upgrades.
Project Architect Stacey Stemach, owner/principal with Ambient Architecture, LLC, said, “After we interviewed with Todd, he enjoyed our perspective on the vision for what is an interesting site and building.
“Actually, my wife and I would walk by and were always intrigued by the building and its modernist 60’s design which is unique to downtown but which appeared to have suffered from a little lack of attention over the years.
“We shared ideas with the clients on how it could be spruced up and brought into the 21st Century and worked in conjunction to meet with their budget and timeframe. The contractor on the job, Russell Anderson, was also very capable and detail-oriented.
“The space on the one-storey side has a lot of exposure to Bond and Irving and was really opened up, highlighting the position of the lot and making it like one large display case. The structure was not changed intrinsically; just given a fresh interior and a fresh look, and after taking away the barriers there is ample visibility in the space and great natural light.”
The “closed-in” feel of the previous space was also alleviated by replacing overgrown landscaping with lower-scale vegetation, while a strong sustainable element was bolstered by re-using much of the existing wood and cedar paneling.
Other recommended exterior and maintenance-conscious improvements included ADA upgrades, design of a new steel staircase to access second floor office space, and a highly efficient HVAC system to mitigate solar heat generation regarding the preponderance of glass. Cross-ventilation is also possible via opposing entrances.
Stemach added, “We tried to a large extent to mimic what was already there but with a fresh appeal, including polishing the original concrete floor, using recycled and new cedar siding, and putting a new surface on an exterior fascia that was predominantly splitting. The volcanic stone is all still original.
“In a way the project polished a downtown gem that had been somewhat obscured, and it has been fun to see how many more people take notice since the new exterior glazing was installed.
“It’s nice to be a part of the continuing evolution of Bond Street in downtown Bend, and this was a wonderful project to be involved with.”