Sheffield Building changes ownership to stave off foreclosure

The Sheffield Building, a sprawling warehouse and office complex south of town, is no longer owned by Vashon College.

At the end of December, J.T. Sheffield, LLC, a company owned by businessman Tom Bangasser and his wife Melissa, took ownership of the 41,000-square-foot building.

The property had been owned by JTSIP, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the nonprofit college, which purchased the site 10 years ago for $307,000 in a complex deal that involved the Vashon Island Rotary Club. The Rotary and another nonprofit, a precursor to Vashon College, stepped in to secure it at a below-market-rate price.

But according to Rex Stratton, a Vashon College board member, “The revenue from the college was inadequate to cover Sheffield’s operating costs and taxes. So it fell way behind on its property taxes.”

In December, Stratton said, it was transferred to the Bangassers to stave off foreclosure for JTSIP’s failure to pay property taxes. As of the end of December, three years’ worth of tax bills, interest and fines — totalling more than $100,000 — were owed on the property.

Bangasser, in response to questions sent to him via email, said the change in ownership won’t have an immediate effect on the building’s tenants, which include the Backbone Campaign, Meadow Creatures and Artisan Electric.

“There are no changes planned at this time. We continue to be the island business and innovation incubator,” he said.


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