In 1969, H. Robert Barr struck out on his own after ten years with AG (Associated Grocers) as the head of New Store Development and created Center Investments, Inc.
During an active period of expansion for independent grocers throughout Washington, the combination of Bob’s business & real estate skill set, renewed retail demand in the market and available property around the Curtis "C" Thriftway & Eastmont Center, allowed for the concept of an enclosed mall. Over an 8 year period the Wenatchee Valley Mall became a reality, with Center Investments Inc. as developer and general partner of Eastmont Enterprises, which owned the very successful mall for 20 years. CII was widely associated with the Wenatchee Valley Mall even though Bob continued to develop Cost Cutter Stores, other grocery stores, office buildings and an assortment of retail projects through the 1970’s & 80’s. During that time Bob and Doreen’s raised three sons in East Wenatchee, the youngest was Dan. After college Dan went to work for CII, learned accounting practices, property management, leasing and development. In 1986 the Wenatchee Valley Mall was in need of a manager, Bob found Dan to be a great fit and gave him the job. Dan became president of CII in 1990 and guided the mall through some turbulent times, staving off competitive mall development during "Mall Wars". Eventually, in 1993, the Wenatchee Valley Mall sold, amidst grand expansion plans, Dan & CII continued as manager for two subsequent owners of the property until 2003 when it was purchased by its 3rd owner, Pascco.
Dan Barr had managed one of the most complex retail properties in the region for more than 15 years and along the way cultivated relationships with retailers, developers and community leaders throughout the region, which made the progression to retail brokerage, property management and development very natural. Operating now as President of Center Investments, Inc., Dan provided project leasing services for Center Oak Properties through the redevelopment of both the Wenatchee Valley Mall & the Valley North Center in Wenatchee as well as the Valley Mall in Union Gap. Over a 6 years period working with Center Oak, CII obtained more than 100 retail leases for these projects including tenants like Gap, American Eagle, Eddie Bauer, Buckle, Bed Bath & Beyond and many others.
Through this period, new to the commercial real estate world, Chaun Birks, Dan's stepson, came to work for CII. Cutting his teeth by helping Dan with leasing at a local level and additionally [eventually] assuming the role of Operations Manager for properties managed by CII. Since 2001, in his duties as a manager and leasing agent, Chaun has developed hundreds of relationships throughout the community, helping property owners, retail tenants and business owners navigate the waters commercial real estate.
Together Dan & Chaun have forged a new path forward, following the example and principles of H. Robert (Bob) Barr, Center Investments Inc. has turned back to cultivating partnerships to produce real estate investments. CII, in partnership with other investors, has completed several re-development and ground up development projects since 2001 and presently continues to seek those opportunities on a daily basis.