New owners turning former KVOS TV studios into business center

A shuttered landmark of Bellingham’s television broadcasting history could soon be empty no longer.

Cedarwind Ellis LLP, an ownership firm in Bellingham, has purchased the former studios of the KVOS television station from OTA Broadcasting. Details of the sale were not disclosed.

Dwight Deausy, a partner in the firm, said his company plans to transform the former broadcasting studio into a medical and professional center.

“We want to bring the building to a new glory,” Deausy said. “It’s had a wonderful past.”

After some remodeling, Cedarwind Ellis will market the building, located at 1151 Ellis St., to a variety of tenants, including doctors, dentists, lawyers, insurance agents or firms seeking high-tech facilities.

Michael Kingsley of Windermere Commercial Realty will handle leasing for the new space.

Deausy said the facility has some unique features that could draw new businesses, including a 30-kilowatt backup generator, a communication tower and fiber-optic cable.

Before anyone moves in, the company plans to invest up to $1 million in upgrades and changes over the next two to three months.

The main entrance, which is currently on Ellis Street, will be moved to the facility’s south side, facing its parking lot. A new main lobby and a new elevator will also be installed.

The television station’s old satellite dishes—relics of the building’s past life—will be removed to eventually make way for additional parking.

Cedarwind Ellis’ construction manager Randall Sheriff and architect Fred Wagner of Grinstad & Wagner Architects Inc. will oversee the project.

Deausy said the building’s location on the edge of downtown Bellingham and its adjacent parking lot were major selling points for Cedarwind Ellis.

But the history of the facility is not lost on its new owners, he said.

KVOS broadcast local news and community programming for nearly six decades. The station earned loyal viewers over the years from both Whatcom County and British Columbia.

Yet decreased ratings and advertising losses beginning in the 1980s led to a series of ownership changes and program cancellations.

The Ellis Street studio closed earlier this year after Newport Television LLC, which bought the station in 2008, sold it to OTA Broadcasting of Virginia. The new owners merged KVOS operations with a partner station in Seattle.

Today, KVOS, which remains licensed in Bellingham, still broadcasts throughout western Washington and British Columbia as an affiliate of Me-TV, a network that airs classic television sitcoms and dramas.

Deausy said the station’s former Bellingham home is a solid facility. Once it’s fixed up, his company hopes it will attract new tenants to the area, he said.

“We want to optimize the building and put into it what it deserves,” he said.

Contact Evan Marczynski at evan@bbjtoday.com or call 360-647-8805. 

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