Although the pipeline for new construction projects appears to be slowing, major projects valued at more than $660 million, most of which started last year or the year before that, are under way in Spokane County, and big projects worth more than another $300 million could start this year.
So far, 2009 has been a slow year for new projects, says Sean Shields, the city of Spokane's permit coordinator.
"We're hearing of smaller projects coming in the pipeline," Shields says. "Bigger projects likely will be public works."
As of late February, the city was reviewing projects valued at more than $30 million, the largest of which include a $5.2 million sewage pump station planned at 4103 E. Indiana and a $5 million pump station planned at 4005 E. Fourth.
It has been common in recent years for the city to be reviewing $50 million to $70 million worth of projects in January and February.
"My sense is that business will be down a bit from a couple of years ago," says Mike Silvey, president of Silvey Construction, of Spokane Valley. "I have enough business signed up that it will be somewhere between an average year and a little bit better than average."
Dick Vandervert, who heads up Vandervert Construction Inc., says the company has six projects planned or under way in the Spokane area.
"My projects have been in development a long time," he says. "They're going forward 100 percent."
Vandervert Construction expects to begin work soon on a $7.2 million hotel and a $6 million theater complex, both on the West Plains.
The hotel will be a 79-room La Quinta Inn & Suites.
The 44,000-square-foot, three-story structure will be at the northeast corner of Flight Drive and Deer Heights Road, just east of the city of Airway Heights. Spokane LQ LLC, which is headed by Surinder Khela, a Seattle-area developer, will own the hotel. Steven P. Elkins Architects Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., designed the project.
The theater complex, to be called Village Centre Cinemas Airway Heights, will be located at the southwest corner of U.S. 2 and Deer Heights Road, just west of the hotel.
The 33,000-square-foot, 10-screen project is being developed by M.V. Investments II LLC, which is headed by Vandervert and Lowell McKee. It will be operated by Pullman-based Corporate Pointe Developers LLC, of which K. Duane Brelsford, is president.
The same group developed Village Centre Cinemas Wandermere, which opened in 2006 in the Wandermere Mall north of Spokane.
In the largest ongoing construction project on the West Plains, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians is expanding dining areas and gaming floors at its Northern Quest Casino following the recent completion of a parking garage there.
The work is part of a $500 million expansion plan that would transform the casino into a resort with a 350-room hotel, a 2,300-seat event center, a luxury spa, and a glass atrium, the tribe has said.
J.E. Dunn Construction Group Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., is the contractor on the project. Hill International Inc., of Marlton, N.J., is coordinating the work, and Hnedak Bobo Group Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., designed it.
Building permit values for 2008 in Spokane County and the cities of Spokane and Spokane Valley totaled $710.5 million, down less than 1 percent from a year earlier. The 2008 values were propped up by commercial construction, as combined building permit values for single-family residences in the three jurisdictions fell 42 percent to $158.5 million.
"We definitely aren't seeing as many residential permits as we had seen in 2004 through 2007," Shields says.
In all of 2008, no single Spokane permit rivaled the $74 million Shadle Park High School renovation project that was permitted in 2007, although work there is expected to continue through the spring of 2010.
Garco Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the project, and NAC/Architecture Inc., of Spokane, designed it.
The biggest project permitted in Spokane in 2008 was for construction of six city swimming pools valued at $20.2 million collectively. Graham Construction & Management Inc., is the contractor on the project and ALSC Architects PS, of Spokane, designed it. The pools are expected to be completed in time to be opened before the end of this year's swimming season.
Northtown Square, a $20 million, three-building retail center, at the former site of the Wendle Ford dealership at the northwest corner of Division Street and Wellesley Avenue, is expected to be completed this summer. Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants Inc. is slated to open a Red Lobster restaurant in a 7,100-square-foot, stand-alone building there in April.
A number of other tenants will be located in two retail buildings there that will have a total of 64,000 square feet of floor space. Spokane Teachers Credit Union, ULTA Beauty cosmetics, DSW Shoes, Dressbarn, Honey Baked Ham, Bajio Mexican Grill, Desert Sun tanning salon, Sport Clips Haircuts, Tuxedo Gallery, and a Starbucks coffee shop will be located in two retail buildings among others that have yet to be named.
Altogether, Northtown Square is expected to house 16 to 20 retail businesses.
Kilgore Construction Inc., of Colbert, is erecting the retail buildings, and Spokane-based Nystrom Olson Collins Inc. designed them. Walker Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the Red Lobster structure, and GHA Architecture/Development, of Dallas, designed it.
A $9.6 million structure at 427 S. Bernard that will house Spokane Eye Clinic PS is scheduled to be completed in July. Ramey Construction Co., of Spokane is the contractor on the four-story, 44,000-square-foot building. OMS Inc., of Spokane, and Atlanta-based Medical Design International designed it.
Work is under way on a $9.2 million Best Western Peppertree Inn project at the former site of St. John's Lutheran Church at the northwest corner of Division Street and Third Avenue. EA White Construction Co., of Tualatin, Ore., is erecting the five-story, 105-room structure, and Dale Sweeney Designs PLLC, of Bellevue, Wash., designed it. The project is scheduled to be completed late this year or early next year.
Lilac Terrace, a $10 million, 50-unit subsidized senior housing project is under construction at 7015 N. Wiscomb, next to the Lilac Plaza Retirement Community.
Community Frameworks, a Spokane-based nonprofit, is developing the four-story, 46,000-square-foot building for the owner, Spokane Baptist Association Homes. Kop Construction Co., of Spokane, is the contractor on the project, and Zeck Butler Architects PS, of Spokane, designed it.
One huge project that might begin this year is the initial phase of a planned county wastewater treatment plant that would be located at the former stockyards near Freya Street and Trent Avenue. Englewood, Colo.-based CH2M Hill Constructors Inc. will design and build the 8 million-gallon-a-day treatment plant and operate it for 20 years under a $254 million contract that the county commissioners approved in January. The construction cost for the treatment plant is expected to be about $170 million. The project hasn't been permitted yet.
"If it comes in this year, we think it will be in the last half of the year," Shields says.
Also this year, the Community Colleges of Spokane district is planning to start six building projects with a total value of $98 million.
In one of the biggest projects permitted by the county in 2008, the Deer Park School District has obtained approval to launch a $33.7 million modernization of Deer Park High School. Garco Construction has won the bid to build a 75,000-square-foot addition to the 81,000-square-foot structure. NAC/Architecture, designed the project, which is expected to be completed before the start of school in 2010.
The YMCA facility north of Spokane, another large project that was permitted by the county last year, is expected to be completed in mid-July. The 54,000-square-foot facility will be located on the west side of U.S. 2 near its intersection with Nevada Street. Vandervert Construction is the contractor, and ALSC Architects designed it.
The facility is one of twomain projects funded with money being raised by the YMCA of the Inland Northwest and the YWCA of Spokane through of a $40 million joint capital campaign.
The other project, an 80,000-square-foot YMCA/YWCA central facility, at 930 N. Monroe, is expected to open in May. Garco Construction is the contractor on that job, and ALSC Architects designed it.
In Spokane Valley, HAL Valley Apartments LLC plans to build Granite Pointe Apartments, an $11.4 million, 144-unit apartment complex west of the Mirabeau area, says Mike Turbak, that city's permit specialist.
Bill Lawson, a Spokane contractor, is a principal in HAL Valley Apartments. Wyatt Architects & Associates PS, of Spokane Valley, designed the planned complex at 12707 E. Mansfield.
Renovations are under way for a new WinCo Foods Inc. outlet that will occupy the former HomeBase Inc. building near the intersection of Sprague Avenue and Farr Road in Spokane Valley. The Boise-based warehouse grocery chain plans to open a 100,000-square-foot supermarket there in late spring and employ about 200 people there.
Engineered Structures Inc., of Boise, is the general contractor on the $6.2 million project, and Petersen-Staggs Architects LLC, also of Boise, designed it. The same contractor and architect worked on WinCo's first outlet in the Spokane area, a 94,000-square-foot, $8.2 million facility that opened last month at 9257 N. Nevada, on the North Side.
Turbak says a permit is ready for an $11 million Hampton Inn & Suites project planned on the south side of Indiana Avenue, across from Worthy Enterprises LLC's recently completed River View Corporate Center.
Albuquerque, N.M.-based Gustin Property Group LLC plans to develop the 106-room hotel. Wormer & Associates Inc., of Spokane, designed the project. A contractor hadn't been selected as of late February.
Other Spokane Valley projects in the pipeline include an Inland Northwest Bank branch at 15015 E. Sprague and a Rite Aid building at the southwest corner of Pines Road and Sprague Avenue that would replace the current pharmacy and retail outlet at the northwest corner of that intersection, Turbak says.
Construction activity is even expected to soften in Liberty Lake, which had a strong year in 2008 with $52 million in permitted construction and healthy years in 2007 and 2006, says Doug Smith, the city's director of community development.
Work is continuing, though, on the Hawkstone and Liberty Village developments that are being developed by Liberty Lake Investments LLC, of Hayden, Idaho, on the east edge of the city. Site work is under way for several phases of Hawkstone where a 100-acre mixed use subdivision is plannedwith 506 single-family lots, eight multifamily lots, and 44 commercial lots south of Appleway and east of Simpson Road.
Also as part of those developments, the city issued building permits in September for two 16,000-square-foot, mixed-use buildings at the northwest corner of Hawkstone Loop and Village Way in east Liberty Lake. Whitewater Creek Inc., of Hayden, is the contractor on the Hawkstone and Liberty Village projects.
Liberty Lake-based housing developer Greenstone Corp. recently completed a 114-unit phase of Bitterroot Lodge Apartments, and a second phase with another 96 apartments is in various stages of construction near the northwest corner of Harvard Road and Mission Avenue.
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