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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Interactive aquarium, Blue Zoo, opens Thursday at Northtown Mall

Spokane’s first interactive aquarium, Blue Zoo will open tomorrow, next to Buffalo Wild Wings in NorthTown Mall. The 11,000 square foot space is a unique place full of all kinds of aquatic life and even birds, turtles and lizards. Many you can touch and interact with.

There will be scheduled murmaid and pirate shows and a good sized space to rent for parties and other groups. Among the attractions are a 30,000 gallon shark tank, predator tank, giant Octopus and much more. Definitely worth checking out for kids or really people of all ages with an interest in aquatic life.

We were allowed to look around today and get a few pictures to show what to expect...

For more information on Blue Zoo, check out them out on Facebook, Instagram or their website at-

New tenants coming to the Wonder Building

Even more exciting new tenants will soon be doing business in Spokane's former Wonder Bread factory, now known as the Wonder Building!

Abandoned for many years the building has been fully renovated and companies are wasting no time taking up the newly renovated space. Already Seattle based engineering firm Parametrix and the Seattle based have moved their Spokane offices into the building.

Now Katerra, a California based company with a few divisions, including the production of cross laminated timber, has announced they will join the Wonder Building's tenant roster. The growing company will occupy about 10,000 square feet and they expect to move in sometime this fall. Katerra of course also is nearing completion of their new 250,000 square foot factory to produce CLT in Spokane Valley, which will likely come fully online in the coming months as well.

In addition to offering new Class A office space, the new building will have a 12,000 square foot market space. This area is not open just yet and no official announcements have been made about it. But, building permits are beginning to pop up from units within the market space. As is indicated by permits High Tide Lobster Bar will open a second location there and the Sandpoint based Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters will open some sort of coffee shop. We recently reached out for more info on what the future has in store for the Wonder Market area but are waiting to hear back at this time.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Old Navy and other changes coming to the Franklin Park Shopping Center

Spokane is about to get another Old Navy location. Currently the chain has a store in the plaza by Spokane Valley Mall, but now another store will be coming to serve North Spokane.

Construction is out for bid now for a new 18,563 square foot store to be located in-between Bed, Bath and Beyond and The Guitar Center at the Franklin Park Shopping Center on N. Division. At this point there is not a set opening date or published construction timeline but it will cause a significant remodel of that section of the shopping center.

Plato's Closet had a store open by the same space until a little over a week ago. They have since relocated a ways north and are now back open at 8117 N. Division. Also in the current floor plan The Guitar Center occupies some of the space as well, but construction will have that store moving just slightly to the North to abut Burlington Coat Factory. The remainder of that space that will become Old Navy was last an Outback Steakhouse that moved to Northtown Mall some time ago.

Interestingly, it looks like the Ross Dress for Less store at the other end of Franklin Park will undergo a big remodel soon with new look and façade. And, Ulta opened just a couple of months ago by Ross after moving to Franklin Park Shopping Center from Northtown Square Shopping Center.

As always stay tuned as we'll be keeping watch on this project as it progresses.

Monday, July 29, 2019

New Maverik at Ruby & Montgomery opening Thursday

The Maverik chain of gas stations & convenience stores has opened many locations locally since first coming to the Spokane/ Coeur d’ Alene area just a few years ago. But one location has prompted quite a few people to ask me about it’s opening date. Likely because of it’s prime location.

We can now report that the new Maverik at the corner of Ruby & Montgomery ( 28 E. Montgomery ) will open for business this Thursday, August 1st.

A full grand opening will happen from 4-8 with giveaways, swag and of course samples. The new location offers a 4300 square foot store featuring the chains Bonfire brand of hot foods in addition to all the traditional convenience store staples.

This is the 8th Maverick location in the Spokane area and 10th in the Inland Northwest. A couple more locations are also already in the works, more info on the company can be found on

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tru by Hilton planning to open in Spokane Valley

Yet another company is choosing Spokane Valley as their first location in Washington State.

Tru by Hilton, a recently established, slightly more hip and technology forward brand from Hilton is in the planning phase for a new location just west of the Spokane Valley Mall.

A pre-development conference was filed recently with the City of Spokane Valley, but exact plans have yet to be seen by us. However from what we do know the new hotel would be a four story building with 43000 plus square feet. It will be built nearby Mirabeau Park at corner of Mansfield Ave. and Mirabeau Pkwy.

NOTE: This is not a rendering of the exact Spokane Valley location, just a rendering of an average Tru by Hilton hotel. Almost all look much like this with the exception of number of floors.

Tru by Hilton hotels offer "Eat & Sip" markets , mobile check in, digital keys, lobby tablets and a social media wall among other unique features that set the Tru by Hilton brand apart from others and make it an attractive choice for millennials and a younger crowd of traveler.

While this will be the first Tru by Hilton hotel in Washington, the brand has been growing and they even have locations as close as Meridian,ID. The chain has over 100 locations already open for business and many more in development, just like the new Spokane Valley location.

For more info on Tru by Hilton, check out their website at

Metro Express Car Wash to build new location near the Fairgrounds

Metro Express Car Wash is coming to Spokane. The company operates usually quite large, modern car washes and even operates one near the corner of US 95 & Neider in Coeur d' Alene.

Plans call for the new Spokane Metro Express location to be built at 4201 E. Sprague, which is at the north west side of the E. Sprague / Havana intersection. Which is currently a vacant lot near the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center.

Plans call for a 7462 square foot building for the main car wash with a 210' conveyor to run cars though. The back of the lot would offer about 20 vacuums stalls. A small office would also be built for staff,etc. on the same site.

The new car wash project is currently out to bid for construction with no set opening date listed. For more info on Metro Express Car Wash, visit their corporate site at-

Monday, July 22, 2019

Wishing Tree Books to open in the South Perry District

A new independent bookstore is coming soon to the South Perry District!

Work is already underway to convert the historic home at 1410 E. 11th ( across from Perry Street Brewing ) into an all new store called Wishing Tree Books . The store will be largely a children's bookstore, specializing in infant through young adult books. But, there will a small section of adult titles as well as gift items and cards.

While the store will be relatively small, guest will be able to order any book they would like, as long as it is in print. The turn around time on orders could even be as little as 24 hours!
Wishing Tree Books also plans to host many events from story times, book groups. birthday parties, author visits and much more. The store will even boast an outdoor patio for outdoor events.

The store will be open to all, with a hope of being open sometime in September!

For a more in depth look at what has brought the store's owner to this point check out a previous article from the American Booksellers Association at .

And, for more info on Wishing Tree Books, check them out on Facebook at-

Thursday, July 11, 2019

New Spokesman Review plant goes vertical in the Valley

The Spokesman Review is pushing forward with their plans to print the paper and some other printing projects in Spokane Valley. As most know the Spokesman Review has been printed in Downtown Spokane for decades, but times are changing and it was announced recently that the paper plans to acquire a new smaller, more efficient printing press and relocate where it is printed. This allows them to open up the Downtown building for re-development.

Baker Construction is the contractor for the new facility which will be in a 65000 square foot at 19223 E Euclid, just off of Barker Rd in Spokane Valley. And, as seen in the photos below construction of the main building has gone vertical with much of the outside wall panels now in place.

Printing operations are to begin at the site on or about March 1st, 2020. A couple more warehouses for other companies are planned to also be built at the same site in the near future.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Spokane Eye Clinic opens new location in North Spokane

Spokane Eye Clinic has opened their newest location, at 9651 N. Nevada behind the Northpointe Shopping Center in North Spokane. This is their fourth clinic and it will focus on routine eye services, pediatric ophthalmology, contact lens fittings and the treatment of many eye conditions and diseases.

Additionally the new clinic features and optical shop carrying many nationally recognized eyeglass frames, contact lenses, supplies and high quality products to treat dry eyes. Spokane Eye Clinic has been serving the local community since 1955 and today is independent and physician owned with four locations and 29 doctors.

For more info on Spokane Eye Clinic, check out their web site at-

New Business Openings!

Here is update on some of the new businesses coming to the Spokane / Coeur d' Alene area, and a few that are moving to new locations. It's by no means a comprehensive list, just some of the highlights that come to mind.

If you know of a new business you think we may not be aware of contact me personally anytime at

Other Mothers , a resale store selling children's clothing and supplies like strollers and car seats is on the move a new location. Watch for them to open sometime in August at 8701 N. Division ( the plaza behind Dutch Bros. )

Plato's Closet is moving their North Spokane store to a new larger location. They will open later this month at 8117 N. Division.

Garland Resale Boutique has opened for business in Downtown Spokane. The cool new shop can be found at 11 S. Howard St.

Reece Boutique has opened their new store in the Wandermere area at 12501 N. Division.

Osborn Consulting, a Seattle based full service civil engineering firm the primarily focuses on water resources has opened a new office in Downtown Spokane. They can be found at 429 W. 1st Ave, the former home of Scout Real Estate.

CBD retailer CBD of Spokane Valley has opened for business at 12012 E. Sprague Ave. #2

Wanderlust Delicato a specialty store selling wines, cheeses and some meats quietly opening in Downtown Spokane. Watch for a full post about them soon or check them out now at 421 W. Main #103.

French Toast which is a boutique selling childrens clothing, gifts and goods has moved from the Steam Plant to a cool new space in Kendall Yards. They can now be found at 1170 W. Summit Pkwy.

Northside Salon has opened for business in Wandermere at 12501 N. Division ( same plaza as the Reece Boutique item above ).

The Rusty Mug is a cool vintage store selling old fashioned candy and collectables in Spokane's up and coming Sprague Union District. They can be found at 1916 E. Sprague Ave and they say they'll have a coffee bar opening in their business soon.

Lemon Salvage is a new retail store that says they specialize in reclaimed goods. They can be found at 2003 W. Northwest Blvd. in Spokane.

Immerse VRcade is a new virtual reality business now open in the Logan Neighborhood at 1217 N. Hamilton.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hardwick & Sons, with 80+ years in Seattle is moving to Post Falls

Hardwick & Sons is everything you'd want out of a family owned hardware store. Friendly folks with more merchandise then you could ever need and over 80 years in business. But, those 80 plus years ( 87 to be exact ) have been spent on the other side of the state, at 4214 Roosevelt Way NE in Seattle's University District.

So, why is Hardwick & Sons making news on a small local news blog almost 300 miles away? That's because Hardwick & Sons in moving, to Post Falls. Factors ranging from increasing crime and high property taxes have made the Hardwick family decide it's time to try something new. In fact really new as the business plans to build an all new building as well when they relocate to " Idaho's River City ".

Hardwick & Sons is currently working their way through the permitting / planning phases to construct a new 17,000 square foot building on Post Falls' east side. The business would have a 10,000 square foot retail store and a 7,000 square foot warehouse, which would in part store the products the business still sells on it's website. While the Post Falls store would still be a part of the original company they say it will be cleaned up a bit, while still selling many harder to find items.

The store is to be built on a couple of lots at 3820 / 3850 E. Mullan Ave , in-between a Domino's Pizza anchor strip mall and a Dutch Bros. Coffee stand. Construction likely won't begin till late Summer at the earliest but demolition work on the 2 homes that we're exsisting on the site has already begun.

Keep watching for more, and for a more in depth look at why Hardwick & Sons is planning the move, check out their interview on Seattle radio station KIRO 97.3 at

And, for more info on Hardwick & Sons check out their website at

Monday, July 1, 2019

Stella's to return with new location in Downtown Spokane

Many still remember Stella's Café, the small but hip restaurant with an sandwich focused menu and a orange door near the Spokane Arena. Stella's merged in with Ruins, another restaurant by Chef Tony Brown, back in Jan of 2017.

Ruins, of course, continued on with an always changing menu and Chef Brown is also working on an all new restaurant that will be coming soon to Downtown Spokane's The Bickett Building. So needless to say he's kept busy even without a separate Stella's location,

But, now at little more then 2 years after Stella's left, it's coming back!

Stella's Café will return in a somewhat new version in the Saranac Commons building at 19 W. Main in Downtown Spokane. Taking advantage of the spaces that we're very recently emptied by Chef Jeremy Hansen's closures of his 2 businesses in that complex. The new Stella's is to open sometime next month and they say their old sandwich menu will return complete with several vegan and vegetarian options. They are also planning a "revamped lunch menu " with more salads, pastas and entrees.

Keep watching for more news on the new Stella's coming back to Downtown!