Spokane Journal of Business

$60 million high-rise project eyed by Spokane River

The Falls development would be at old YWCA site

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Spokane developer Lawrence Stone is proposing construction of a $60 million mixed-use development at the former downtown YWCA building.

Stone, who also is president and CEO of Scafco Corp., heads up The Falls LLC, which bought the property at 829 W. Broadway in late 2010 for $3.2 million. 

He couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

The project is described in a predevelopment application as a redevelopment of the parcel bounded by west Broadway Avenue and north Lincoln Street on the north bank of the Spokane River, just north of the Anthony’s at Spokane Falls restaurant.

The Falls development would have two high-rise towers with views of Spokane Falls, a preliminary site plan shows. One tower on the northeast portion of the property would include a 120-room hotel and retail space.

The other tower, on the south portion of the property would include 120 apartment units and some retail space.

Between the two towers, the retail space would total 25,000 square feet, the predevelopment application says.

The application also says the project would include 18 large condominium units, and 25,000 square feet of office and support services space, although it doesn’t say in which tower that space would be located.

The project also would include some underground parking, the application says.

Collins Woerman Co., of Seattle, is designing the project.

Tami Palmquist, an assistant city planner, says the application is preliminary in scope, and a predevelopment conference is scheduled for Friday, May 26, during which developers and city planners will discuss the project.

Predevelopment is the beginning of the city’s planning process.

Palmquist says the predevelopment information indicates the towers would be up to 13 stories above grade, and the development would include an underground parking structure.

She says the city will conduct a state-required environmental review.

The project also would require a separate shoreline conditional use permit, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Washington state Department of Ecology.

“We haven’t had a meeting, but it appears they are meeting (setback) requirements, or they understand the relationship of how the code applies to the project,” Palmquist says.

The envisioned project is similar to a development proposed on the site several years ago by SRM Development LLC, another Spokane-based development company, she says.

SRM had planned to buy the YWCA property in 2005 and erect two high-rise condominium towers there, although that transaction fell through as the real estate market collapsed.

The YWCA consolidated operations with the YMCA when both organizations moved their separate downtown operations to the newly constructed Y building at 930 N. Monroe, in 2009.

The former YWCA complex, which is on the north side of the property, would be demolished to make room for the project.

Stone also is developing Playfair Commerce Park at the former site of the Playfair horse racing track in East Spokane.

Stone bought 48 acres of land from the city of Spokane in  2010 and since has developed an office building, a manufacturing building, and three warehouse buildings with a total of 280,000 square feet of floor space.

The buildings include Scafco’s headquarters and the Scafco Steel Stud Manufacturing Co. plant.

Mike McLean
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Reporter Mike McLean covers real estate and construction at the Journal of Business. A multipurpose fisherman and vintage record album aficionado, Mike has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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