Spokane developer Rob Brewster Jr. is leading a group of investors who are seeking tenants for a proposed 25-story, $35 million-to-$40 million office tower at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Howard Street in downtown Spokane.
Two other groups also are trying to develop high-rise towers here, and, while all three buildings probably wont be erected, a new downtown office tower project likely will go forward within the next three or four months, a major prospective tenant says.
For the project in which Brewster is involved, a second prospective investor has come forward, Brewster says. That investor hasnt committed to invest a certain amount in the project yet, Brewster says, but has expressed interest in being one of the founding principals. Brewster, who earlier had secured an investor who agreed to put $6 million into the project if it comes to fruition, declines to name the interested investors.
Brewster says he has talked with the prospective tenant, Paine, Hamblen, Coffin, Brooke & Miller LLP, Spokanes largest law firm, but the firm hasnt committed to lease space. That firm has been vocal in its desire to lease 60,000 square feet of premium office space in the citys core.
Shaun Cross, Paine Hamblens managing partner, says three groups that are working to develop downtown towers, including Brewsters group, have approached the firm with high-rise proposals in recent weeks. He declined to name the proponents of the other two projects, but says, Something is going to happen within the next 90 to 120 days.
If Paine Hamblen were to choose the project headed by Brewster, it would occupy about one-quarter of the space in the proposed building, which would include a total of about 250,000 square feet of retail and office space.
No other potential tenants have been found for that project at this point, Brewster says.
The investment group organized by Brewster has an option to buy many of the buildings on the block bordered by Riverside, Howard, Sprague Avenue, and Stevens Street from current owner K. Wendell Reugh, of Spokane. The tower would be just east of the 20-story Seafirst Financial Center, which currently is the tallest building in Spokane.
Wolfe Ballantyne Studio Architects has completed conceptual sketches of the proposed tower and tentatively has been selected as the project architect, says Keith Ballantyne, a principal in the firm.
As currently designed, the tower would be built where the Rookery, Mohawk, and other buildings now stand. It would have a bank, upscale restaurant, and other users on the ground floor, additional mixed uses on its second floor, and office space on ascending floors. At the top of the building, architects envision an architectural feature that, according to a design analysis for the project, would create an iconic form, recognizable from all points around the city.
The project also would include four or five levels of underground parking.
Brewster also has been interviewing contractors outside the area that have expertise in building high-rise structures.
Were trying to stay local, but some of the expertise needs to be from people who have built office towers, says Brewster, adding that such a structure hasnt been built here for about 20 years.
Brewster owns and is renovating the Holley Mason building, a six-story structure, at 157 S. Howard, that will act as a temporary home for Lewis & Clark High School while that school is renovated.
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