Friday, May 22, 2015

Two large local companies on the move on the West Plains

In West Spokane / West Plains two of Spokane's larger locally based companies are playing a bit of office switch a roo. One company is moving on up to much larger offices and another in downsizing, moving to Downtown Spokane but still remaining a piece of the Greater Spokane economy.

The two company's I'm referring to are People to People / Ambassadors Group and Northwest Farm Credit. Here is the scoop on these new office moves...

Ambassadors Group / People to People , relocating to Downtown Spokane.

People to People, a division of Ambassadors Group which runs educational / student trips all around the world has had some struggles in recent years. Lay offs have been known to occur at the Ambassadors Group HQ nearby the Spokane International Airport. In fact, when the company comes Downtown it will only employ about 100, down from more then double that at one time.

But People to People is hoping to get a fresh new start by leasing new offices in the historic Holley Mason Building at 157 S. Howard . The company will occupy offices in the sixth floor ( suite 601 ) of the building which is also home to the large West Corporation call center which already employ's in the hundreds.

People to People will be moving to this space from the HQ building of Ambassadors Group which is on the West Plains at 2001 S. Flint Rd.

For more information on People to People visit-

Northwest Farm Credit to Ambassadors Group HQ

 A big part of the reasoning behind the People to People move is the sale of their large office building on S. Flint Rd. not far south of US Route 2. The building had been on the market for about two years before the sale late last year. Although, the sale did not fetch the full asking price for the building it does mean new life there.

Northwest Farm Credit, who is also headquartered on the western side of the metro area purchased the building with hopes of soon relocating their corporate operations there. The building marks a significant increase in office space for Northwest Farm Credit as the building offers 133,000 square feet and 11 acres of land.  Currently the company uses around 60,000 square feet of space.In addition, Northwest Farm Credit will own the building as opposed to the lease situation at their current HQ.

No word on exactly when the move into the new building will occur for the company which is a financial services co-op catering to the agri , farming and ranching community.

For more information on Northwest Farm Credit visit-

Northwest Farm Credit leaves large office opening in West Spokane

While office vacancies are not ideal in the real estate market, it should also be noted that they do also open up space for new companies looking to come to the area and local start ups that are on the rise, of which Spokane has several.

One such large office space vacancy will soon be the former Northwest Farm Credit HQ in the Sunset Pointe Corporate Business Park. The center which is managed by Spokane's Arger Co. Commercial Real Estate now has 61,400 square feet of rentable space available with 29,000 square feet being the smallest leasable space.

There are no known tenants moving in yet as Northwest Farm Credit isn't actually out of the building just yet. The space is modern class A office space with 3 stories, plenty of on site free parking. And a parcel to the west that is considered phase II and is vacant land that is also available via sale.

For more information on Sunset Pointe Business Park visit-

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Large mixed-use project in the works on N. Hamilton

Over on the western edge of the Gonzaga University campus, construction is just getting started for a new six story apartment complex ( More on that here- ). But, also in the works and coming to an area around Gonzaga is a new large mixed use building. This mixed use project is in the planning phases just off of the eastern side of campus and nearby the Madonna Residence Hall.

The building is purposed for 1002 N. Hamilton, and while it is not officially coming yet, it looks promising as it continues to work it's way slowly through the planning processes. Here is a look at the most recent rendering of the project-

As you can see this building, which is yet un-named, will feature four story's of space. On the ground floor will be 17,000 square feet of commercial storefronts, all facing Hamilton, and likely perfect for restaurants, bars or retail businesses. Above that will be three stories of apartments, 66,000+ square feet and 57 units in all. Parking will be available in a lot at the rear of the building with garages to possibly be built for the apartment tenants.

A site plan of the site shows four separate retail spaces, but yet the above rendering appears to include many more possible businesses . Since the building is still " in the works " no commercial tenants have been announced. The apartment section is of course subject to change but the plans show a variety of 1 bed, 2 bed and 3 bed apartment units

The project is being developed by Ferdinand CJF,LLC with a Kent Hull listed as the main developer. Currently the project is out for SEPA review and does seem to be moving forward, although it is important to keep in mind that this is not the first project purposed for the prime piece of vacant real estate in the Hamilton Ave. corridor.

Keep an eye on for more in the future on 1002 N. Hamilton Ave.

Michael Building renovations nearing completion, luxury apartments available

The Michael Building / The Germond Block, whatever you want to call it, major renovations are nearing the end for the historic building on the northeast corner of E. Sprague and Lincoln in Downtown Spokane.

826 E. Sprague is the buildings address and it's bringing new apartments to Downtown and updated retail space. And, these are not your average apartments as The Michael Building is luxury urban living in residences with top of the line touches and of course location, location , location.

The Michael Building overlooks part of the Davenport Hotel, near the STA bus plaza and only a couple of blocks from Riverfront Park and River Park Square. The building offers 18 apartments with one and two bedroom units available. Rental rates at The Michael Building are a bit higher then most in Downtown Spokane at near $1,600 per month for 1 bedroom and $2,300 per month for a 2 bedroom. But, despite the higher rental rates the building and it's location are worth it since about half of the apartments are already rented.

The apartments take up all three upper floors of the four story building and offer exposed brick, brand new stainless steel appliances, newly updated plumbing and electrical and updates through out the entire building including a new secure lobby area on the ground floor facing E. Sprague Ave. .

In addition to the new apartments the ground floor space has also received some updates and will soon be home to a new a restaurant. The space at the corner of Sprague and Lincoln will become Knife Burger Bar with an opening currently planned for August. In addition to Knife Burger Bar, Patit Creek Cellars winery's tasting room and Bruttles candies retail store are also tenants in the Michael Building that are planning to stay in their existing storefront spaces.

Another storefront space is also available on the ground floor, with an 800 square foot space still available. The storefront was once rumored to be planned to be a coffee shop but it appears that plan never came through and the space remains for lease. The storefront is for lease at $18.00 per square foot. Commercial leasing at The Michael Building is being done through Goodale & Barbieri Company Real Estate, here is a link to more information on that space-

Apartment rentals in the Michael Building is also being done by a division of Goodale & Barbieri. For information on apartments call 509-459-6109 or visit the building's official web site at-

* Also, check out for photos and floor plans of the luxury apartments.

Monday, May 18, 2015

STCU planning new branch at Latah Creek Plaza

Spokane Teachers Credit Union ( More commonly known as STCU ) continues to expand through out the Inland Northwest. In recent months the credit union has moved into a new branch / office space in Downtown Spokane's Historic Hutton Building and opened a couple of other new branches around the area.

But now, STCU, who's membership is open to all local's, not just teachers, has announced another new branch location planned in the Qualchan area just south of Spokane. The new Qualchan STCU branch will be a tenant of the Latah Creek Plaza shopping center, which is the center just off of US 195 anchored by a Trading Co. grocery store.

STCU will lease a former AmericaWest Bank branch that is already standing at 4233 S. Cheney-Spokane Road. While the building may already be standing, STCU will actually extensively remodel the building making the building nearly double the size and with the same craftsman style architecture used in many of the newer STCU locations.

The new branch will be STCU's 19 branch location and will open for business sometime next year with construction starting in late 2015. Dave Black and Chris Bell of NAI Black brokered the lease of this new building.
STCU is excited to come to this growing area and promises to bring great service and convenience to their members along US 195 and in the Latah Valley. The credit union is a member owned , not for profit cooperative, now with over 136,000 members and $2.1 billion dollars in total assets.
For more information on STCU visit their web site at-

Two area Aeropostale locations close as part of company cutbacks

Perhaps the days of the American mall are numbered. Sure, some malls like Spokane Valley Mall do great and even the Village at Riverstone is far from empty with many local businesses instead of all mall based chains ( Way to go, Riverstone ! ). But, yet again today I have to report of another mall store closing.

Aeropostale , as part of company cutbacks, has shut their doors at two locations in the Inland Northwest . Both of which closed within the last couple of weeks ,these store closures do not target our area however as some closure did also happen around the nation. In fact, one Spokane location is still open for business in the Spokane Valley Mall.

However two of the once three Inland Northwest Aeropostle stores are now closed, with employees laid off. Those two stores are...

Aeropostale at Northtown Mall , Spokane

Aeropostale at Riverstone , Coeur d' Alene

These two closures come on the heals of the store closures at Deb Shops, a Philadelphia based chain of clothing stores that actually folded completely. Deb Shops had stores in both Spokane Valley Mall and Northtown Mall.

Additionally around the nation some mall store closures have also hit Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Wet Seal. However it is important to note that as of now neither are planning to go out of business at their locations in our area.

Aeropostale is still very much in business, the chain which is based in New York City still has many stores, most of which are in malls. They also have a strong ecommerce presence with their web site. For more information Aeropostale, visit that web site at-

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Benniditos Pizza opening new brewery / pizza restaurant on E. Sprague

Beer & Pizza, need I say more...

But, I will because Benniditos Pizza, a local favorite pizza place since they opened back in 1996 is expanding and opening a new second location. They will still keep their current location at 1426 S. Lincoln but will also be located at 1909 E. Sprague Ave very soon.

The new location on E. Sprague will be a bit different then their current business as the new location will be a full brewpub. Benniditos plans to brew their own beers on site and serve them in addition to their delicious pizzas. In fact, the menu of the Benniditos brewpub will be expanded and will also include sandwiches , soups , salads and more.

Here are some photos of the progress going on at the new Benniditos ( these are a bit older as I "borrowed" them from Facebook. I haven't had time to pay a visit for new ones) -

The buildings Bennditos will use are both undergoing full remodels as the space was formerly an used car business called, BJ Motors. The location alone is huge news as it is just another chapter in the revitalization of East Sprague, from an area with crime issues to a new in demand business district sometimes referred to the Spokane International District.

Work on the new restaurant / brewpub is on going but the end is near. Currently they have no set opening date but they do hope to open by the end of May. We will keep you posted...

For more information on Benniditos Pizza, visit these web sites-

Deaconess planning a free standing ER in North Spokane

To date, the trend of free standing full ER's has yet to hit Spokane. Until now...

Some work has started, and a ground breaking / official announcement is likely coming next week. But, we have learned that Rockwood Health System, operating in this case under the Deaconess Hospital name is planning a clinic with and ER department on a long time vacant lot in North Spokane.

The new Deaconess Hospital clinic / ER will be built at 8202 N. Division immediately north of Discount Tire and a short distance south of The Y  . Below, is a photo of the exterior of the new building-

The building will be roughly 12,700 square feet sitting on 5 acres of land. The new North Spokane Deaconess will have 15 private emergency care rooms in addition to an on site Laboratory department and diagnostic imaging department. Some office space will also be included as will parking and room for future expansion.

Construction will likely start soon as a building permit for the new facility is currently under plan review. On those permits, M J Harris Construction Services, LLC of Birmingham,AL is listed as the contractor for the project.

Keep watching for more as we expect to hear an opening date and how many this new center will employ sometime very soon. Until then, for more information on Rockwood Health System visit their web site at-