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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Community Frameworks planning affordable apartment building north of Downtown Spokane

 Example ( not final ) rendering courtesy of Community Frameworks

  Community Frameworks, a local non-profit affordable housing organization is embarking on a new development project about a mile away from Downtown Spokane. Called Sinto Commons, this new development will be a four story apartment building located at 509 W. Sinto.

Construction will begin soon at the site with removal of a large basalt rock formation and vertical construction is likely to commence in the Spring of 2021. A full project completion date is currently set for December 2021. According to Community Frameworks, Sinto Commons will create opportunities for 46 families and individuals to live affordably. And, of the building's apartments, 23 units are designated for residents who are currently experiencing homelessness.

Sinto Commons will feature 8 studios, 11 one-bedroom, 25 two bedroom and 3 three bedroom apartments, indoor common areas, outdoor play areas and on site parking. Walker Construction is the contractor and ZBA Architecture is completing the architectural design work.

Community Frameworks also owns six other properties in the Spokane region. In addition to Sinto Commons, Community Frameworks has one other development ( Highland Village in Airway Heights ) that will be completed in the Fall of 2021. For more information on their organization and properties, visit

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Lebanon Restaurant & Cafe will open soon near Downtown Spokane.

A new Mediterranean restaurant is coming soon to small space near Downtown Spokane. Signs went up recently for Lebanon Restaurant & Cafe, which will be on the ground floor of the Cooper George apartment building at 707 W 5th Ave. 

We don’t know the opening date as of yet, but the new eatery’s menu has already been uploaded to the UberEats system. There it shows an extensive menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Including meat pies, shawarma, wraps, sandwiches and several platters. 

Desserts like baklava and beverages that even includes Turkish coffee are offered. Stay tuned as we’ll definitely be checking out this new restaurant as soon as we can.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Progress check- Boxcar Apartments

   INBW staff photos

The Boxcar Apartments will one day be a large seven story modern looking apartment building located just east of Downtown Spokane. Located in a transitioning neighborhood at 15 N. Grant, near the south landing of the Spokane University District Gateway Bridge. 

This project has been on my radar for sometime, but I am happy to report work is now officially underway at the construction site. We went by the area recently to see that site work is happening now and what looks like early foundation work is going in.

Bouten Construction of Spokane is the general contractor with Project of Portland doing the architectural work. Once complete it will feature 136 apartments of varying sizes and floor plans. Several common areas are also planned along with covered parking and a space for a future cafe.

The new building is to be complete sometime in 2021. And, here is a look at rendering for the completed Boxcar Apartments project-

Rendering courtesy of Project

Sunday, December 6, 2020

STCU planning new branch on Argonne in Spokane Valley

 Spokane Teachers Credit Union, herein referred to as STCU is planning to construct and open a new branch location 9209 E. Mission Ave. in Spokane Valley. The new location is scheduled to open late next year on the same property, at Mission and Mullan Road, where they already operates their Argonne Home Loan Center and drive-through ATM's .

The new 3100 square foot Argonne Branch was designed by Bernardo-Wills Architects, and will be built by Yost Gallagher Construction. To make way for the new branch, crews earlier this year prepared two 1970's era building for removal from the property to a location east of the Pines Road interchange, on the South side of I-90. One of the two has been moved and the other is expected to move prior to construction.

The new Argonne Branch will the 30th location for STCU, this includes 4 new branches. The 4 new branches come to STCU from the recent final approval given by regulators for STCU to acquire Umpqua Bank branches in Medical Lake, Ritzville, Coulee City and Othello. That move gives STCU it's first locations in Lincoln and Grant Counties, while bolstering it's presence in the growing West Plains area of Spokane County.

Founded in 1934, STCU is the largest credit union based in Eastern Washington, it offers an array of savings and lending products, home loans, rewards and conventional credit cards and more. They have more then 210,000 members, who enjoy 24 access to their accounts through online banking, the STCU mobile app and nearly 30,000 surcharge free ATM's nationwide.

For more info on STCU, visit their website at

New owner re-opening new restaurants in two formerly closed eatery's

 Watch for two new restaurants opening in the coming weeks, one is a re-opening under new ownership and the other re-uses a former chain restaurant space for a new local business.

The Spokane based SA3, LLC. has signed a long term lease on the former Mackenzie River Pizza building. The building is 5800 square feet and is located at 9225 N. Nevada in North Spokane's Pavilion Shopping Center development. At this site they plan to open " The Pizza Co. North Spokane " , which has a target opening date of the beginning/middle of January.

Additionally, and with a more rapidly approaching opening date is The Ref Sports Bar. The Ref is actually a re-opening a former restaurant that closed their doors back in August. The new ownership is hoping to have The Ref Sports Bar re-opened by the end of the year but neither have opening dates to report on as of this articles publishing. The Ref is located in Spokane Valley at 14208 E. Sprague Ave.

Interestingly despite the different names the new owners will be doing the same menu at both restaurants. They tell me the menu will consist of a full bar and a full menu focused on pizza, pasta, burgers, wraps, melts and a strong selection of appetizers. Both restaurants will offer dine-in ( once allowed ),  take out and 3rd party delivery from Door Dash, Uber Eats, Grub Hub and Treehouse Delivery.

In addition to these new locations the same owners also operate The Mango Tree Indian Restaurants in Downtown Spokane and Coeur d' Alene.