Spokane Journal of Business

Douglass to build center on Diamond Bowl site

Eagle Hardware founder’s new World Lighting chain to have store in building

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Spokane developer Harlan Douglass plans to begin work this month on a 124,000-square-foot North Side retail center that will include a World Lighting & Design store, among other tenants.

World Lighting is the newest retail chain being launched by former Spokane businessman Dave Heerensperger, the founder of Eagle Hardware & Garden Inc., which was acquired by Lowes Cos. in 1999. Douglass has been reported to be an investor in the new Kent, Wash.-based chain.

Site work already is under way for the new retail center, which will be located on the former Diamond Bowl property on the east side of Division Street between Wedgewood and Lyons avenues. The site is just one block south of the Lowes store that Heerensperger initially opened as the first Eagle store in 1990.

A building permit for the planned retail project issued by the city of Spokane late last year listed the value of the building at about $5.5 million. Douglass couldnt be reached immediately for comment, so its unknown whether additional tenants have been signed for the center.

The World Lighting store, which will occupy about 25,000 square feet of space in the retail center, is expected to open by October, says John Foucrier, president and chief operating officer of the chain. The store, which likely will employ about 25 people, will cater to do-it-yourselfers, designers, and contractors, he says.

Foucrier says World Lighting stores stock about 8,000 items, including 6,000 lighting accessories, such as chandeliers, wall sconces, table lamps, and exterior lights, as well as more than 400 types of lamp shades, 450 types of light bulbs, more than 140 types of dimmer switches, and more than 1,000 lighting parts. The stores also have separate display rooms designed to look like a kitchen, dining room, home theater, and even an outdoor patio. Each room is equipped with lighting options, allowing customers to try out different lighting effects, he says.

World Lighting currently operates just three storesone each in Bellevue, Lynnwood, and Tukwila, Wash.but plans to open seven more by the end of 2002, Foucrier says.

According to plans filed with the city of Spokane, the longest section of the planned L-shaped retail center will stretch from Wedgewood to Lyons, facing Division, with a small section of the building extending east and facing Lyons. The building is to be constructed behind Carls Jr. and A&W Family Restaurant outlets that are located along Division on the western edge of the three-acre site, which is owned by Douglass.

Tom Craig, a city plans examiner, says the building permit for the retail center, which documents refer to as the Diamond Shopping Center, is for construction of only the shell of the center. Additional building permits must be sought to complete tenant improvements inside the retail center, which potentially could house four or more tenants, he says. Craig says the city hasnt been notified of any tenants that plan to occupy the retail structure.

The project plans show more than 400 parking spaces being developed in front of the retail center. A 144-square-foot espresso stand also would be built in that parking lot, plans show.

Shoppers will be able to access the retail center from Lyons, Wedgewood, or Division, Craig says. He says the shopping centers plans show a large main entrance from Division heading east to the retail center parking lot, directly between the A&W outlet and a planned pad site for another tenant.

That 5,400-square-foot pad site would accommodate a 245-seat restaurant, while another planned pad site directly south of the first would provide 3,000 square feet of additional retail space, the plans show. A third, 5,500-square-foot pad also is shown on the plans directly east of the big retail center. Additional parking surrounds all of those pads.

Building permits for the structures that would be erected on those pad sites havent been issued yet, and those sites are labeled on the plan as being for future development, Craig says.

  • Lisa Harrell

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