Burton landmark purchased by island company

J.T. Sheffield LLC purchased the Burton Inn and the house south of the property for $850,000 in a sale recorded on April 29.

An important Burton landmark and business, The Burton Inn, has changed hands.

Property records show that J.T. Sheffield LLC — a company governed by island businessman Tom Bangasser and two of his family members — purchased the inn and the house just to the south of it for $850,000, from Armen Yousoufian Profit-Sharing Plan, in a sale recorded on April 29.

Bangasser’s family company has developed two other large Vashon commercial properties, the J.T. Sheffield Industrial Condominium Park, on 103rd Ave. SW, and Courthouse Square, located on Vashon Hwy., about a mile south of town.

In interviews and emails with The Beachcomber, Bangasser explained that a recent real estate conversion of the J.T. Sheffield property had enabled him to make the purchase of the Burton Inn.

The Sheffield property, he said, has now been converted to become Vashon’s first commercial condominium complex — a change he said had already proven very successful for both tenants and his company.

“Year-end 2021 charitable donations, from us and others, allowed the Backbone Campaign and Burn Design Lab — both longtime local nonprofit tenants — to purchase their respective warehouse/office units, closing in January 2022,” he said.

Those purchases gave Bangasser’s company the opportunity to buy the Burton Inn, which he said was purchased as a tax-deferred exchange under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. This code allows purchasers to defer capital gains, depreciation recapture and other taxes by exchanging a relinquished or replacement property for equal or greater value.

The stipulations of Section 1031 will require Bangasser’s company to own the Burton Inn for at least two years, he said. His first move, he said, would be extensive restoration and renovations to the property.

“We are proceeding forward with the needed repairs and improvements to the basic structures,” he said. “These include a new roof, solar panels, painting and extensive landscaping.”

Bangasser said he planned to spend at least $250,000 on these renovations, followed by others, as needed. The new roof will be installed this week, he added.

The inn currently has no tenants, Bangasser said, nor has his company made any commitment to future tenants. The inn will be closed for the summer, he added.

“That corner site and the Burton community deserve our best efforts to do the job right,” he said.

He described his company’s purchase as a “clean slate” for the property and urged islanders to write to him with their ideas and suggestions for the property, at tfb@bangasser.com.

According to island historian Bruce Haulman, the inn was built in 1993 by islanders Don and Stacey Wolczko. At the time of the Wolczkos’ purchase of the property, it was the site of three historic houses, located across the street from the Harbor Mercantile grocery store.

Since the inn was built, it has been managed by various business interests under different names, including The Back Bay Inn, Quartermaster Inn, and the Burton Inn.