Spokane Journal of Business

$30 million in strip-mall projects set

Vandervert says plans call for trio of developments with three more to follow

  • Print Article

A Spokane company called Sierra Development LLC, which is headed by prominent local developer Dick Vandervert, has just begun work on one retail development in Millwood and plans to start work on two othersone each in Cheney and Liberty Lakethis spring. Together, the three projects will cost at least $30 million.

Additionally, Sierra is eyeing property around Spokane for three more shopping centers that would have a combined cost of another $30 million, says Vandervert, managing partner of Sierra and also president of Vandervert Construction Inc., the Spokane company that will build the centers.

Sierra recently tied up the final pieces of the sites where it will build the three current projects, in Cheney, Millwood, and Liberty Lake, each of which is expected to cost about $10 million to construct. The sites are:

A 28-acre parcel in Cheney, located at the southwest corner of state Route 904 and Betz Road, a main route onto the Eastern Washington University campus. Vandervert hopes to begin construction of the shopping center, which is expected to include a supermarket and have up to 150,000 square feet of retail space, in late May or early June and have most of it completed by the end of this year.

A 10-acre site adjacent to the 5-year-old Albertsons supermarket at the northwest corner of Trent Avenue and Argonne Road in Millwood. The project, which includes a retail strip and commercial pad buildings to go along with the supermarket, began last week and is expected to be completed this summer.

A 16-acre site in Liberty Lake, near Country Vista Drive and Liberty Lake Road, thats part of a larger, planned commercial development announced last summer. Vandervert expects to start work on a supermarket, strip retail center, and a stand-alone commercial building there in May or June and finish it by the end of the year.

Vandervert declines to disclose the locations that Sierra is eyeing for the three other retail centers it hopes to develop after the company has acquired the sites. He says, however, that two of the sites the company is looking at are 10 acres each, and the third is 18 acres.Cheney plansIn Cheney, Sierras plans call for a retail center that would include a supermarket, a large adjoining strip mall capable of accommodating two tenants the size of a video-rental business or auto-parts store, a second strip for smaller retail tenants, and five or six retail pads spaced along state Route 904 and Betz.

Vandervert says the scope and size of that project could change as Sierra secures tenants. He says hes already received about a dozen inquiries from potential tenantsincluding a multiplex theatereven though Sierra has yet to hire a leasing agent or even a project architect.

Its one of the hottest pieces of property Ive ever acquired; the response has been phenomenal, and I havent even told anyone about it yet, he says.

Robert Gilles, owner of Robert A. Gilles Realty Inc., of Spokane; Gene Lilliencamp, of Arger Capital Corp., of Spokane; and Carlo Jensen, of Pinnacle Realty Inc., also of Spokane, handled the land transaction between Sierra and the property owners.Filling out a centerIn Millwood, Sierra recently bought 10 acres of land near the northwest corner of Trent and Argonne from Albertsons Inc., the Boise-based supermarket chain that launched the shopping center project there in 1992 by building a grocery store. Albertsons announced then that it hoped to have the remaining 10 acres of the center developed by a separate developer, but the project hasnt moved forward until now. Albertsons retained ownership of its supermarket building and the land beneath it, Vandervert says.

To complete the center, Sierra plans to build a 36,500-square-foot strip mall just east of the supermarket, he says. That retail space is expected to house up to 14 tenants, including: a Hollywood Video rental outlet, an Als Auto Supply auto-parts store, a Starbucks coffee outlet, a Great Clips hair salon, and a take-out pizza and pasta franchise outlet called Figaros Italian Kitchen, says Marshall Clark, of Clark Commercial Real Estate Co., the marketing agent for the project. Additional potential tenants are close to signing leases for space there, Clark says.

Sierras portion of the center also will include five retail pads. As previously reported, one of them will be used for a 3,200-square-foot Chevron convenience store-gas station, and will be located along Trent, just west of Argonne. That building is expected to be completed this month.

Another pad will be occupied by Walgreens Rxpress, a Deerfield, Ill.-based pharmacy chain, which will lease a 1,900-square-foot building thats to be constructed just east of the Chevron outlet and will face Trent. The remaining three pads, two of which will be located along Trent with the third along Argonne, likely will house a bank, a fast-food restaurant, and a tire store, Vandervert says.

The strip mall and pads were designed by Russell C. Page Architects, of Spokane. Hahn Engineering Inc., of Spokane, completed the engineering work for the project.At Liberty LakeAt Liberty Lake, Sierra plans to go ahead with the retail portion of a project that later is expected to also include a hotel, restaurant, and perhaps other commercial buildings on a 16.4-acre site that Vandervert Development had purchased earlier and recently transferred to Sierra.

Vandervert says that Sierra will start work this spring on the retail project, which is expected to have at least 100,000 square feet of space, north of Country Vista Drive and west of Liberty Lake Road, just west of a new United Security Bank branch. Those retail buildings probably will include a supermarket, an adjoining strip center, and a free-standing building that likely will house a drug store. Sierra hopes to develop the hotel, restaurant, and other buildings later.

Separately, Vandervert Construction is erecting three buildings south of Country Vista Drive and west of Liberty Lake Road that will house a Chevron convenience store-gas station, a Big O Tires Inc. outlet, and a Q Lube station. Vandervert says Sierra sold the land where those structures are going up to individual buyers. The buildings are to be completed next month.

Jim Quigley, of Kiemle & Hagood Co., of Spokane, is marketing the project, which will be part of the Liberty Lake Corporate Center, a 235-acre development west of Liberty Lake Road and south of Interstate 90.

  • Chad Cain

  • Follow RSS feed for Chad Cain

Read More

Sign up for our E-mail updates

including the
Morning Edition

Join our list