Kevin L. Hoover
ARCATA – Arcata jewelry manufacturer Holly Yashi has purchased the property that once served as the headquarters for the now-defunct Arcata Community Recycling Center (ACRC).
Located right next door to Holly Yashi’s Ninth Street manufacturing facility and retail shop, the former ACRC site offers huge opportunities for expanding the company’s maxed-out offices as well as creation of a facility that fits in with the vision for the newly emerging Creamery District.
Zoned “Industrial Limited,” that designation allows everything from light manufacturing to limited commercial and even residential development – exactly the sorts of elements the new Creamery District’s “art and commerce” theme call for.
Tourists already seek out Holly Yashi, and the company sees an opportunity to create more of a "destination" for them as well as a productive incubator for artisans of varied skills.
But don’t expect overnight changes. “We’re not in a big hurry,” said Holly Yashi co-founder Paul Lubitz. “There seems to be a new idea every day.”
Working with architect Kash Boodjeh, the Holly Yashi team is incorporating elements that could result in what Lubitz calls “a village of artisans” on the 26,000 square foot spot. Along with jewelrymakers, artisanal pursuits might include glassblowers, saddlemakers, foodies, a brewery – just about anything.
"If there are interested artisans out there, they can certainly contact me," Lubitz said.
“We could raise all boats and really bolster the artisic community,” said Toni Dailey, assistant director of wholesale sales and marketing. “It’s fun, exciting and a lot of work.”
The company has also purchased a private residence on 10th Street, which borders the newly expanded Holly Yashi complex. "We'll be working with Kash on how to connect it all," Lubitz said. "We have a great potential for Arcata here."
"The fun of this is that it's all exploration at this point," Dailey said. "But there is a vision."
David Ferney of the Arcata Playhouse was appreciative that Creamery artists can use the ACRC space to prepare for this next month’s Creamery festival. "They've been super generous and have loaned us spaces to build the giant dragon," he said. “It’s really great that they are on board with the vision of an arts and business destination.”