El Katif Shrine Center, the Spokane-based chapter of the international fraternal organization that supports Shriner's Hospitals for Children, says it has bought the former Worden's Washington Winery property on the West Plains and is considering using the site for meetings and events.
The property includes six acres of land and two buildings at 7217 W. Westbow Road, just south of Interstate 90 and east of Spotted Road.
"The short-term plan might be to use a building there," says Victor Chimienti, El Katif's president. "Other ideas for a new building out there are just in the thinking stage."
Chimienti says an about 700-square-foot building that had been the winery's office and wine-tasting room could be converted to a meeting room, but a roughly 4,000-square-foot former storage building there might not be usable.
The Shriners currently holds its regular meetings at the Spokane Masonic Center, at 1108 W. Riverside. El Katif has about 1,100 members. Its territory includes most of Eastern Washington, and it has several clubs or units attached to geographic areas such as north and south Spokane, Chimienti says.
"We felt it was a good investment," he says of the real estate purchase, which was handled by Earl Engle and Mark McLees, both of Spokane-based NAI Black, and Ted Hermann, of Ericks Realty, of Deer Park.
"You can't go wrong with buying dirt," Chimienti says. "Someday, we might look to do something there."
The terms of the transaction weren't disclosed.
The property has changed hands several times since Jack and Phyllis Worden operated the winery there. Ken and Tara Barrett and Rebecca Chateaubriand bought the property in 2000 and changed the winery's name to Wyvern Cellars. The winery closed in 2003.
Redmond, Wash., contractor Brett Burris bought the site during a foreclosure auction in 2004 and sold it to Spokane businessman John Crow, in 2008.
Crow, who is president of Spokane Valley-based cooking pan manufacturer Lloyd Industries Inc., says he had planned to develop an industrial park there with three buildings totaling 100,000 square feet of floor space. He decided not to pursue those plans due to financing difficulties and "a cloud of economic uncertainties," he says.
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