Thursday, November 20, 2014

Community news briefs- Nov. 20th 2014

Ok, so I have been a bit behind on posting to this site lately . So, to keep everyone as up to date as possible while they wait on me, here are a few local happenings from my e-mails / contacts -

Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular 2014 , a holiday lights event coming to Riverfront Park.

Spokane's new "Winter Glow" event kicks off with a lighting ceremony at 6:30 PM on November 28th, just after Thanksgiving. The event which intends to become an annual event of holiday lights around Riverfront Park will be on display from 5-9pm nightly through Jan 1st with longer hours on weekends.

The nightly event is free and open to the public, with carriage and wagon rides also available for a small fee.

The Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular is mainly sponsored by Avista , Washington Trust Bank and Coordinated Care.

For more information on this event, visit-

Darigold and Dairy Farmers of Washington to donate 11,000 half gallons of milk to KREM 2 News' Tom's Turkey Drive.

Here is the press release-

Darigold and the Dairy Farmers of Washington have joined the 15th Annual ‘Tom’s Turkey Drive’ to provide complete turkey dinners to Inland families for a $20 donation this weekend at all Rosauers stores. Third generation dairy farmer, Stephanie Littrel, says last year’s event provided 11,000 dinners so the dairy farmers will donate 11,000 half gallons of milk to go with each turkey dinner donation this year.  Tom's Turkey Drive relies on hundreds of volunteers each year. Visit the 2nd Harvest website to learn more about specific volunteer opportunities.  Tom’s Turkey Thanksgiving meal bags including a half gallon of 2% milk will be distributed at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, 720 W. Mallon Ave., on Tuesday, November 25, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Darigold, Dairy Farmers of Washington have joined KREM TV’s Tom Sherry, 2nd Harvest and the Salvation Army to fight hunger this holiday season with support from Numerican Credit Union, Rockwood Health Systems, Franz Bakery and Itron – all working together to provide holiday meals to area families in need during the holiday season.  

West Plains Petro Truck Stop collecting food and coats / blankets for the less fortunate.

From Facebook-

"We" are doing a food and coat/blanket drive for our less fortunate in Spokane. We are accepting money (will be used to purchase food), food,... bottle water, coats, gloves, socks and blankets. ANY THING you would be willing to donate we will definitely get it to people who need them. We are trying to collect everything by Wed.12/10. We will be handing these items out on Saturday 12/13.

You can drop it off at Petro 10506 W. Aero Road Spokane, WA. 99224

Landmark Plantation Restaurant in Spokane Valley demolished-

Demolition work is wrapping up with the building now down at the vacant building that once housed Spokane Valley's Plantation Restaurant .

Last year, the news came in that the building would soon be renovated and turned into a new restaurant by the same name. That plan never came to fruition and clearly is now dead, that story here from the Journal of Business-

It is very unfortunate these plans apparently got cancelled. The building was located at 8122 E. Sprague Ave. and appears to now be for sale as commercial land. There are currently no plans for the site that we know of yet. But, are continuing to keep and eye on this one.

INBW takes YOUR stories-

We will share you event and any tips on new business in the Spokane / Coeur d' Alene area. Contact me, Matt Behringer anytime at-

Or share to the Inland Northwest Business Watch Facebook page at-

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Place Hotel now open in Spokane Valley

There is a new option of places to stay in Spokane Valley with last week's official opening of the My Place Hotel - Spokane Valley.

The hotel's opening marks the rapidly growing chain expansion further into the Northwest. The chain is based in Aberdeen,SD and already has locations all around the United States after only being in business since 2012. The company was founded by the same person who founded the Super 8 Hotel chain, Ron Rivett . The hotels in the My Place system are geared towards extended stay travel, however booking for just one night is offered.

The hotel is located at 16106 E. Indiana Ave. across from the Riverview Corporate Center and a very short drive / walk east of the I-90 Sullivan exit and the Spokane Valley Mall.

The hotel features 64 guest rooms spread out though-out the 3 story building. Rooms feature something called "my kitchen" with small cook top, microwave and refrigerator. On site laundry facilities, high speed internet access , and a small convenience store are all also offered. Room discounts are available to AAA/CAA members , AARP members and government employee's.

Room rates will vary, for more information, including hotel room booking visit the My Place Hotel web site at-

A look at the new hotel, now open-

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nut Factory to close store, relocate and re-focus

This business downsizing / closure will effect a local landmark business that thousands of commuters pass by each day on I-90 . That business is, The Nut Factory, and it has operated out of that highly visible building at 19425 E. Broadway in Spokane Valley since the late 90's and other locations dating back many years before that.

But, now news has come in that The Nut Factory will soon undergo a big change which will mean leaving that site along I-90. The business will actually fully close down their retail storefront and will re-focus the business to a new web based sales format via the company's web site, which can be found at the bottom of this article.

In addition, The Nut Factory hopes to increase wholesale sales and their sales outside of the United States.

The business will actually vacate the building at 19425 E. Broadway entirely with the production and warehousing moving to a yet to confirmed industrial building elsewhere in the Spokane area. The building will be put up for sale soon and the store's closure is expected to happen sometime this month.

The Nut Factory's Spokane Valley store featured many different types of nuts, candies and other snacks produced and/ or processed by The Nut Factory within the same building as the store. The retail store also offered many other snack and gift items. Many of the items sold there will likely continue to be sold via the companies web site, which can be found at-

Or via Facebook at-

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trader Joe's to open store in North Spokane

Local social media pages and the local media itself has been a buzz for most of the day today over a huge, an yet un-expected announcement of a large chain grocery business expanding here.

That announcement is, that, Trader Joe's is planning to open a second location here. The chain, which is a national grocery retailer with a large and passionate following, opened there first local location a couple of years ago. That location can still be found on the South Hill in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center ( 2975 E. 29th Ave. ) .

The new Trader Joe's will be in North Spokane this time, only a few blocks north of Northtown Mall. The store will occupy about 12,000 square feet of space in the Franklin Park Commons shopping center ( 5520 N. Division ) and will have a similar size, and likely look to the current store on the South Hill.

There is no mention as of today about how many will employed by the new North Spokane Trader Joe's, but once time gets closer some of those jobs may be filled via this, the Trader Joe's employment web site-

The new Trader Joe's at Franklin Park Mall will open sometime in third or fourth quarter of 2015. It will take over a portion of the space now used by a Rite Aid store, that is vacating the shopping center for a stand alone site along Division, still on the Franklin Park Commons property

This may also be sign of improvements to come as well to the Franklin Park Commons site . As a re-construction project would make cense given the increase in traffic / interest a store like Trader Joe's usually brings ,but this is only my speculation.

For more information on Trader Joe's find them online at-

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Onion to open Area 51 Taphouse at North Spokane location

The crew here at Inland Northwest Business Watch has uncovered news of a major change coming soon to a local favorite restaurant.

The Onion is currently in the construction phase to convert the restaurant's bar into an exciting new tap house style bar with a huge focus on beer. The space is being extensively remodeled behind a temporary curtain, and will have a completely different look. Here is an example rendering of what this new bar might look like once open-

In addition to the new look, a new name is also in store. The space will be called Area 51 Taphouse at The Onion. Currently it appears the new taphouse is only planned to open inside the North Spokane location of The Onion and not the Downtown location, although this has yet to be confirmed. The North Spokane Onion / Area 51 is located at 7522 N. Division.

Area 51 Taphouse, while it will likely have a full bar will put a large focus on the beers and craft beers, a huge portion of today's economy. Per the businesses page on Facebook Area 51 will offer 51 beer tasp and 50 bottled beers for a total of 101 beers. And, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but to my knowledge this will be the largest beer selection of any restaurant in Spokane. Although, Manito Tap House on the South Hill comes close to these numbers.

Area 51 Taphouse will also do growler fills, brewer's dinners , brew gear and even a mug club. Plus even with all the new drinks, a food menu will also remain.

No opening date has been set as of yet but it appears the new space will likely open sometime within the next month.

For more information on Area 51 Taphouse at the North Spokane location of The Onion find them on Facebook at-

Kimball Office to close Post Falls operations

One of the region's larger employer's, and perhaps the largest employer in Post Falls will soon close it's doors. The closure will be of the Post Falls Kimball Office manufacturing facility, which has operated along Seltice Way west of Chase Rd. since the mid 1990's ( originally called Harper's ).

The company plans to relocate all production for the local plant to the companies other exsisting facilities in Indiana. In all, the Post Falls Kimball Office plant employ's about 260 and most, if not all employees will be laid off. Many employees will also be offered a severance package.

The plant closure will not be immediate, with lay offs starting as early as January and a full closure coming in about 2 years.

Also, the Kimball Office manufacturing facility has been placed up for sale with a potential buyer  already found for a portion of the building. That buyer has yet to be named but it appears that buyer will occupy between 100,000 and 150,000 square feet of space including the buildings front office space. Given that it's unclear as to who this buyer is, it's also unclear if as to whether or not this new business might hire some of the former Kimball employee's.

It is also noteworthy that a aerospace manufacturing facility is also planning to build next door to Kimball. That project is still planned and will be a new location of a company that's currently in Spokane Valley. More on that soon...

New skyscraper planned for Downtown Spokane

With Walt Worthy's massive Grand Hotel Spokane project going up rapidly nearby the Convention Center, Downtown's skyline is already changing. But, another new large project is also in the works , not far from the Grand Hotel. And, this project would change the look of the skyline perhaps more drastically then the hotel itself.

That project is a yet to be named high rise currently in the planning phase for the eastern edge of Downtown. The building would rise from the lot at the corner of Spokane Falls Blvd. and N. Division, on the Southeast side of the intersection. Currently an abandoned auto repair shop stands on the corner, it will be removed to make way for the project.

There is no construction start date or estimated opening date as of yet but we do know some info. The main news about the project will be it's shear size. The high rise will become Spokane's tallest building with 35 floors planned. In fact, this building eclipses the current tallest building in Spokane, The Bank of America Tower by 17 floors.

The new building will be developed by local developer / dentist Dr. Phillip Rudy, this is by far his largest project ever undertaken, should it come to fruition.

Plans on the 35 story high rise call for multiple uses, with retail and restaurant uses and residential uses included. Likely apartments geared towards students of the nearby Washington State University-Spokane and others looking to live where they work and play, Downtown Spokane.

We will be keeping an eye and ear out for more info and possible renderings of this potentially major project.