Steve Salvatori, a commercial building landlord who specializes in offering low-rent office space to business startups, says he plans to purchase the Buchanan Building, at 28 W. Third, downtown.
The transaction is expected to be completed next month, he says.
Limelyte Technology Group Inc., of Spokane, will be the main tenant in the Buchanan Building under an arrangement in which Limelyte also will have equity in the building, says Salvatori, a second-year city councilman.
The long-vacant, century-old Buchanan Building is listed for $250,000, and Salvatori says he expects to spend an additional $200,000 or so in building repairs and tenant improvements.
Limelyte, a software development and consultant concern, is a tenant in one of two other multitenant buildings Salvatori owns and operates collectively as a business incubator named the Spokane Entrepreneurial Center LLC.
One of those structures is the three-story, 10,000-square-foot Lorraine Hotel building, at 308 W. First, which Salvatori bought in 2007. The other is the three-story, 9,000-square-foot Plechner Building, at 608 W. Second, which he bought in 2008. The center provides low rent space to 40 early-stage businesses, and has been home to nearly 200 startups since it opened, he says.
Limelyte has outgrown its space in the Plechner Building. The company has six employees, up from two a year ago, and expects to double its staff this year, Salvatori says.
The Buchanan Building has 10,000 square feet of floor space, including a 4,400-square-foot main floor, a full basement, and a mezzanine, he says.
Limelyte will take up half of the main floor initially and will retain half of any rent from tenants it can attract to the building, Salvatori says.
Salvatori says the lease-equity arrangement will provide him a modest return on his investment, and will credit Limelyte with 50 percent of any future appreciation in the building.
"Limelyte has a chance to build equity without compromising the cash flow we need to invest back into our business," says Rob Martinson, Limelyte founder and CEO, in a statement about the company's move, which is slated for June 1.
Salvatori says he envisions the Buchanan Building will be a "business accelerator," for businesses that have grown beyond the incubator stage.
"Normally when early-stage companies start to grow, they graduate and go away," he says of the Spokane Entrepreneurial Center. "I lose some of the best tenants."
Commercial real estate agents Colin Conway and Erik Nelson, both of Spokane-based Kiemle & Hagood Co. are handling the pending transaction.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank N.A. is selling the property, having acquired it through a foreclosure action, he says.
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