Paul Fish, president of Spokane-based recreational-equipment retailer Mountain Gear Inc., has bought a 160,000-square-foot complex in Spokane Valley and plans to move the companys offices and warehouse operations there next year.
Mountain Gears retail store will remain in its current location, at 2002 N. Division, on Spokanes North Side. It will vacate the 24,000-square-foot office and warehouse building it occupies at 730 N. Hamilton.
Fish bought the Spokane Valley complex, which is the former American Sign & Indicator Inc. quarters and includes three buildings, for $2.3 million late last month at a public auction. He was one of nine bidders who vied for the property, which is located on 10.5 acres at 2310 N. Fancher, near Felts Field.
He owns and will operate the complex through a company called Gone Fish Too LLC.
Mountain Gear will take about 80,000 square feet of space in the complex, Fish says, two-thirds of which will be warehouse space and a third of which will be office space. He says the company likely will move within the next six months.
Mountain Gear employs 75 people, 65 of whom work in the corporate offices and warehouse. Fish says he expects to add about 10 employees next year at the new location.
The companys need for more space is due largely to growth in its catalog and Internet sales, Fish says. That part of the business has had annual growth in the low double digits each year for the past eight years, he says.
The Mountain Gear retail store opened in 1983 at 12 W. Sprague, then moved to the Division Street location in 1989.
Fish says hell market for lease the other half of the complex on Fancher. He hopes to find complementary usersother recreation or outdoors-related businessesto take that space, which includes roughly 50,000 square feet of warehouse space and 30,000 square feet of office space.
Fish also owns the companys current headquarters on Hamilton, just east of Gonzaga University, and he hopes to lease it to a user that wants to be in the University District.
Fish says the company doesnt have enough space in that building.
Ive been looking for a place for three years, he says. This year, were barely making it with the space we have.
St. Louis investor Mark Lucas sold the former AS&I complex at auction after holding it as an investment for a number of years.
The facility has been largely vacant since 2001, when Spokane-based computer-printer maker Output Technology Corp. moved its operations out of one of the buildings there and into the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan.
AS&I owned the complex until 1983. After selling the complex, the company maintained some of its operations there into the 1990s.
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