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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Renovations coming for Masonic Center & Civic Building in Downtown Spokane

Downtown Spokane's historic W. Riverside Ave is going to be getting a few new tenants. But rest assured the neighborhood with it's booming old buildings and tree lined streets won't change too much.

Renovations are planned and in various stages at both the Spokane Masonic Center, 1108 W. Riverside and directly next door at the Civic Building , 1020 W. Riverside . Both we're sold to new owners recently with the sale of Masonic Center being the most recent. In fact the sale of the building was just announced yesterday.

The Spokane Masonic Center was purchased by local businessman Greg Newell , who is the president of Power Handling Inc. a Spokane based manufacturing firm, that is also actively setting up a second manufacturing facility on 3rd Ave in Post Falls . Newell purchased the building for $1.1 million dollars and plans to invest further into the building.

Plans at the Masonic Center are geared towards creating a large event center and possibly a restaurant and / or café. Because the sale itself is recent it's too early to determine exact plans at the site. However much of the building's historic charm will be kept. The Mason's who we're the former building owners will lease some space in the building but it's unclear if they will stay or move out completely once the terms of there lease end.

Nearby, the Civic Building, renovations are also in the works as the building was sold earlier this year to the Empire Health Foundation. The Foundation paid $775,000 for the building which is also tucked in next door to the Spokane Club.

The new plans at the Civic Building include turning the structure into a philanthropy center. The Empire Health Foundation will move into some of the new office space with additional office space on Empire's floor available to another non-profit , a floor of meeting space is planned and the 3rd floor will be re purposed into something new to Spokane.

The Civic Building's 3rd floor will be converted into incubator space just for non-profits / charitable organizations. One tenant of the new philanthropy incubator space has already been announced as Better Health Together and more are to come.