April 01, 2003 11:00 pm

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

The building on Adams Avenue in La Grande that formerly housed Sandy's Fashions and optometrist C.C. Votow is being remodeled into space for a single business.

The new occupant at that address, 1117 Adams, will be Shawn Mangum of Edward Jones Investment, now at 1212 Adams Ave., a building owned by Jack Kleck. Kleck's building is for sale.

Mangum plans to move to the new site, which will have 1,500 square feet of space, on April 22. Most of the work is being done on the ground floor, with some windows upstairs being change to meet historical district standards. According to city permits, the total work costs $80,000.

This is just one of the projects going on or being planned for sprucing up the downtown business area with remodeled or new buildings. Five projects total almost $8 million.

David Williams is doing a considerable remodeling job — at a cost of $180,000 — in the Phoenix Building at the corner of Elm Street and Adams Avenue for new offices for his company. He bought the building in 2001 and moved his financial consultant business, Linsco/Private Ledger, from Washington Avenue to temporary offices off the alley of the building.

Williams is replacing the fake marble front of the building, at 1201-7 Adams Ave., with decorative brick. He is doing extensive interior remodeling on the first floor of the two-story building, constructed in 1894 or '95. A lot remains to be done before the building can be occupied.

Williams hasn't verified it, but he thinks it is called the Phoenix building because it arose from the ashes of buildings burned down there at the turn of the last century.

Attorney Mark Tipperman bought the vacant Bernie's Jewelry building last year and has remodeled that for his offices, which have been at 105 Fir St. He is putting in a new bathroom, some closets and walls. The total cost is $82,772.

Tipperman set Saturday as the date for moving into the 1,800 square feet of space.

A major project on the main street will be the construction of a building at the Bohnenkamp store site. That store burned in 1994. The retail/apartment complex will add $4.2 million the value of downtown property.

And construction should begin in a few months to turn the old Safeway site into new ODS Health offices in a complex that will include a new city library. That project has a price tag of $3.4 million.

Sandy's, operated by Sandy Young, went out of business after 16 years at the same location. She and her husband, Phillip, owned the business. It closed in early November.

Dr. Votow moved to 216 Fir St., where she had to do some remodeling. She has been in business in La Grande for 40 years, she said.