What’s cooking on Flume
We got a call back from Wayne Cook, the developer/renovator who is in the process of purchasing the original Enloe Hospital on Flume Street, which served as home to an art school, video store and hair salon as well as non-permitted apartments until it caught fire a year ago.
Cook said he’s busy renovating the downtown Diamond Hotel right now, but in late fall he expects to “tear into the thing.” He’s either really shy or really wary, because he never seems to want to talk with us much or give many details. Maybe it’s me.
Anyway, Cook promised he’ll do “something really interesting” with the property. “It’s an interesting location, [and] the building had an interesting history,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s much of it left. We’re going to clean it up so it’s safe and maybe fence it off.”
The building was built in 1913.
Bank buyout bonanza
The $343 million bank-merging deal announced in March was completed July 12.
Look for Tehama Bank signs to become Umpqua Bank signs any day now, as the new parent company, Umpqua Holdings Corporations, completed its acquisition of Humboldt Bank (which owned Tehama Bank) and started switching things over officially on July 10.
Umpqua, a name of Native American extraction, is well-known in Oregon, where the company is based. It’s been around since 1953, and Robert Daughtery, Umpqua’s president of California operations, promised in a telephone interview that it will hold onto its small-town philosophy.
“While we’re a bigger bank than we were on Friday, we’re not a huge bank,” he said. “[We] empower local people to make local decisions.”
There were 106 layoffs company-wide, including two in Chico, but no branches are expected to be closed. None of the 91 branches overlapped, which Daughtery said made the merger more of a “natural extension.”
Already, if you plug in www.tehamabank.com, you’ll find you’re at the Umpqua Bank Web site. The signs should be switched at the Esplanade and Pillsbury locations within a couple of weeks. By late fall, Umpqua plans to open a loan production office in Chico.
Raymond Davis, Umpqua’s president and CEO, said a “very intense, very focused marketing campaign” to let people know of the change will be launched within days.
Carpet One stores in Chico and Red Bluff have an interesting promotion going on. Throughout the month of July, it’s holding “elections,” with people voting on which public elementary school library or media center will get a free “makeover.”
Marketing Director Steve Kenny said “any adult who cares about kids” can come in and vote; they don’t have to be customers. (The Chico store is at 2795 The Esplanade.)
The idea came from Carpet One headquarters, which oversees some 1,400 stores nationwide. “With that many stores, we can really make a difference,” Kenny said.
In fact, after the winning school is announced in August, the work will be done on Oct. 23, national Make a Difference Day.
Kenny estimated the prize’s value at about $6,000, based on a 2,000-square-foot library.