New owner, new plans for Jeri’s mall

Scott Boden, owner of Jeri’s Mall, talks over new plans for the venerable shopping center at 260  Spring Street with tenant Richard Swanson of Discovery Kayaks. - Journal photo / Steve Wehrly
Scott Boden, owner of Jeri’s Mall, talks over new plans for the venerable shopping center at 260 Spring Street with tenant Richard Swanson of Discovery Kayaks.
— image credit: Journal photo / Steve Wehrly

A shopping fixture on Spring Street for 40 years, Jeri’s Spring Street Center, often referred to as Jeri’s Mall, was purchased in February by local entrepreneur and philanthropist Scott Boden for $877,000 from the Lawson family trust.

Originally from the midwest, Boden founded Enerdyne Technologies in 1984, sold the company in 1998 and moved with his family to San Juan Island in 2004. He has already invested in local residential property and says he will continue to look for good opportunities to invest in property and buildings on San Juan Island.

For right now, he’s immersed in improving and refurbishing the retail building, which features the second-most frontage on Spring Street, trailing only King’s Market.

Constructed in 1973, the building was originally intended to be a two-story structure, said Boden, who’s working with a contractor to figure out if a second floor makes sense.

Boden likes the idea of doubling the rentable square feet; he’s considering adding office space and vacation rental units. He’d also like to add a central atrium and he expects to rebuild the front and back entryways, repaint and relight the building inside and out, and add a staircase and possibly put in an elevator if he adds a second floor.

Putting a second story on the building would double the rentable space to 12,000 square feet. Boden, who has experience fixing up commercial properties in California and residential property in Friday Harbor, intends to complete the reconstruction by June of 2014.

“It will be the nicest building on the street,” he said.

His first improvement was to pave the rear parking, adding 19 parking spots, making the back door of the building accessible for shoppers and installing an oil-water separator to reduce stormwater pollution.

Boden proudly reports that the building is now fully occupied, anchored by Discovery Kayaks, Friday Harbor House of Jerky, John King’s San Juan Jewelry and On Point Barbershop.

A look inside:

Friday Harbor House of Jerky was opened as the nation’s 26th House of Jerky, and owners Mike Lineback and Cindy Crowe say they “couldn’t be happier being in Friday Harbor.” Look for a jerky booth, and try the wild boar, buffalo or kangaroo jerky, at the San Juan County Fair later this month. House of Jerky sells a full range of dried products, including salmon, sausage snacks and dried fruits in addition to about 20 kinds of meat jerky.

Discovery Kayaks and Richard Swanson have operated at several Friday Harbor locations for 25 years, but Swanson thinks the current spot is the best yet. The shop conducts kayak tours, gives kayaking lessons and sells all manner of kayaking equipment and clothing, including kayaks.

Daniel Obregon moved to Friday Harbor in March and bought and opened On Point Barbershop at the same time. He says he and John Garcia, the other haircutter in the shop, have been so busy since opening “that I haven’t had enough time to play golf” - his current sports passion after playing football, baseball and basketball in his youth. The big flat screen TV usually has a sport program running, and Obregon makes haircutting time pass quickly with sports stories and observations.

John and Sarah King purchased the former San Juan Jewels, renamed it San Juan Jewelry to reflect John’s jewelry design and repair expertise, and moved in down the hall between Vinnie’s pizza and coffee shop and the House of Jerky. John has 15 of years jewelry design and fabrication experience, having apprenticed for famed jewelry designer and maker Bernard Passman at the Venetian in Las Vegas. You can observe him working every weekday at his jeweler’s bench on old and new jewelry and watches.

— Contact Journal reporter Steve Werhly at 378-5696, ext. 5052, or


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