Rafael Mendoza: a community builder

Print Article

  • Ted Escobar/The Sun Tribune - Still to be finished on the project are exterior paint, drywall, floor coverings and interior paint.

  • 1

    Ted Escobar/The Sun Tribune - The Mendoza family apartments on Columbia Avenue in Mattawa should open this year, but the builder-owner has no specific date.

  • Ted Escobar/The Sun Tribune - Still to be finished on the project are exterior paint, drywall, floor coverings and interior paint.

  • 1

    Ted Escobar/The Sun Tribune - The Mendoza family apartments on Columbia Avenue in Mattawa should open this year, but the builder-owner has no specific date.

As I parked at the Mattawa Community Medical Clinic on the way to an interview, I saw a new apartment complex going up across the street on Columbia Avenue. I called City Hall to ask who was putting it up and learned it was Rafael Mendoza.

I wasn’t surprised. I’d spoken to Rafael before, when he was expanding and remodeling Mendoza’s Market, which is now next door to the apartments.

Rafael is no longer an owner of the store. His brother, with whom he was a partner, owns that entire operation now.

Mendoza is building two four-plexes with the help of his wife Carmen. Friends drop by once in a while to lend a hand, but they are building the new apartments themselves. They are all two-bedroom units, and Rafael expects to rent them at about $825 a month.

This is a private project all the way, no government money involved. That’s probably why it’s been taking a while. Rafael continues to work where he’s employed while building, and Carmen works mostly when he does.

“Once in a while, if there is something I can do without him, I’ll come here,” she said.

“I ask for time off here and there,” Rafael said.

Rafael is not just a builder of housing; he’s a community builder. He helped build and operate Mendoza’s. Seeing that this town needs good, safe housing, he’s doing his share.

The irony is that Rafael is not a trained carpenter, did not go to school to learn it, never worked on a construction crew. He did make furniture at one time.

“It’s like a big piece of furniture,” he said, smiling.

The Mendozas broke ground for the project in August. They’re probably halfway. The construction is as good as you’ll see.

But Rafael did have an electrician do the wiring. He knew it would be done and pass inspection more quickly that way.

What’s next?

Rafael didn’t say, but you can bet there is something ahead. Community builders build. That’s what they do.

Print Article

Read More Editorials

New approaches needed to fight super wildfires

May 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | The Royal Register With western wildfires growing in size and destroying more homes, farms and businesses, there is a need for new tools and approaches. The infernos are spreading so fast they are outstripping our ab...

Comments

Read More

Yogi’s wisdom is worth thinking about

May 04, 2018 at 3:11 pm | The Royal Register The late great philosopher Yogi Berra once proclaimed: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” It sure ain’t! A lot has changed over the last 60 years since Yogi was the catcher for the legendary ...

Comments

Read More

Skilled trade jobs go unfilled in our robust economy

April 26, 2018 at 5:00 am | The Royal Register Millions of college graduates find themselves saddled with crushing debt and more than a third of them won’t be working in their chosen profession. Many will be working for low wages. Meanwhile, t...

Comments

Read More

Streamlining regulations helps Americans compete

April 20, 2018 at 5:00 am | The Royal Register President Trump campaigned on cutting taxes, streamlining regulations and improving infrastructure. He also vowed to renegotiate our trade agreements calling the North American Free Trade Agreement...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

509-770-1227
705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2018 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X