The sparsely developed Interstate 90-Medical Lake interchange west of Spokane is set to explode with construction activity later this year, with three projects that together are worth more than $22 million.
Fairways Commercial Investments LLC, a company headed by prominent Spokane builder Dick Vandervert, plans to develop a $12 million retail center on 10 acres at the southwest corner of Aero Road and Westbow Lane, just southeast of the interchange, and a $10 million truck-stop complex across Aero from that retail center. Also, a separate concern plans to develop a hotel at the southeast corner of Aero and Westbow.
Its all going to bust loose at one time, Vandervert says. Were going to make a lot of things happen at once.
Vandervert Construction Inc., of which Vandervert is president, will be the general contractor on all three projects. Russell C. Page Architects PS, of Spokane, is designing the structures.
The retail center, as envisioned, will include between 100,000 square feet and 120,000 square feet of retail space on a 15-acre site, Vandervert says. He says hes talking with some potential tenants, but none have signed a lease yet.
As with similar projects that Vandervert has completed throughout the Spokane area, the retail center likely will have either a supermarket or a big-box retailer as its anchor tenant, connected retail space, and retail pads in front of the retail center, Vandervert says. He says work there is expected to start later this year.
Other companies headed by Vandervert are developing a similar-sized retail center at the northeast corner of Hayford Road and U.S. 2, four miles north of the Medical Lake interchange projects site, as well as a big technology park nearby on U.S. 2.
The truck-stop project is expected to get under way before the retail center project. Vandervert says design work on that complex should be completed later this month. Vandervert Construction expects to file an application for a building permit for that project within 30 days and to complete work on that complex by year-end.
Fairways Commercial Investments will own the facility and will lease it to Petro Stopping Centers LP, an El Paso, Texas-based truck-stop chain with almost 70 large travel plazas, the closest of which is in Medford, Ore.
The complex will include three buildingsa Petro Travel Store convenience store, a Petro:Lube service center for truck maintenance and repairs, and an Iron Skillet restaurant with attached showers and other facilities for truckers to use.
In addition to those buildings, the complex will include fueling stations that will be able to accommodate up to 10 trucks at a time, parking space for more than 250 trucks, and a weighing station.
A fourth structure, a truck-washing facility, might be built there, but Petro hasnt decided yet whether it wants to have that service at the site. The company has washing stations at roughly two-thirds of its travel plazas.
Also, a retail pad will be available on that site, but there arent any plans to develop that space at this time, Vandervert says.
Vandervert referred questions about the hotel project to Spokane developer Randall Gillingham, who is involved in that project. Gillingham, however, couldnt be reached for comment.
Further development at the Medical Lake interchange has been anticipated for more than a decade.
In 1993, Alsaker Corp., of Spokane, disclosed plans for a multimillion-dollar truck complex at the interchange, next to the site on which the retail center is slated to be built. That project, however, never came to fruition.
Vandervert says he bought some of Alsakers land for the retail center, but that Alsaker still owns property there.
The interchange is located about 10 miles southeast of Spokane, just south of Spokane International Airport.
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