3 key Silvana businesses seek new owners

SILVANA — You couldn’t exactly buy the town, but for less than a half million dollars, a person could own some major real estate here.

In this wide spot on Pioneer Highway between I-5 and Stanwood, a newcomer would be welcomed with enthusiasm.

“We need someone who can invest in the old-time feel of Silvana,” said Willow Payne, who along with her husband Jim, owns the Country Cafe. “It would be worth it. People drive here from all over Western Washington and lower British Columbia.”

For sale in this little unincorporated berg are the tavern for $129,000, the historic general store for $199,000 and a building that once housed the gas station, with an asking price of $95,000.

Once an agricultural center that even included a cheese factory, Silvana has a grain elevator that sits alongside the railroad tracks. Except that it’s used for storage now, as is the old fire hall.

Still, Silvana is not exactly about to dry up and blow away. It has all of 30 homes, a Lutheran church, post office, cafe, beauty shop, convenience story, the community’s revered Viking Hall and the popular Silvana Meats. And those places aren’t on the market.

The general store that’s up for sale would make an excellent antique mall, Payne said. It’s something the that has filled the building in the past.

Antiques are what people are looking for, said Violet Ray beauty shop owner Kathie Pedersen.

“Or people starting new businesses could rent a portion of the space in the general store,” she said.

Silvana offers a step back in time, Payne said.

“Americana is disappearing and visitors want that historical element,” Payne said. “This friendly little town would be a good place for somebody to get started. We could use a nice tavern and a mechanic at the gas station, too. We need somebody who will come here to do business and stay.”

Eva Bryce, who works for Century 21 North Homes Realty, lives in nearby Warm Beach. She likes Silvana and wants to see it survive.

With front doors that open onto a boardwalk, the store is a 9,000-square-foot combination of two buildings that were constructed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It comes with a drive-in warehouse and an apartment.

“It could be a car museum or a place to show off old farm equipment,” Bryce said. “It’s a give-away price. Doesn’t Paul Allen need it for something?”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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