Spokane Journal of Business

Fruci family to develop new downtown building

Kinko’s to lease first floor of planned two-story facility at Bernard, Spokane Falls

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A Spokane company controlled by the Fruci family, which also operates two financial services businesses here, plans to raze the former Sullys restaurant building downtown next month and develop a new structure there that will house a Kinkos Inc. outlet and possibly additional office space for the Fruci enterprises.

The new structure, which mostly likely will have a total of 12,000 square feet of floor space on two floors, will be located at the southeast corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Bernard Street, across Spokane Falls from the Spokane Convention Center. That site currently is occupied by a building that has housed a collection of restaurants over the years, most recently Sullys, which closed in 1997.

The project is one of several being considered for long-vacant or underutilized properties on the east end of downtown. Among them are a planned retail and office complex on the west 200 block of Main, and a proposed new restaurant on the site of the Union Gospel Mission Building at Spokane Falls and Browne Street. A large expansion of the citys convention facilities also is being considered.

Fruci Family LLC, the company that will develop the Kinkos project, owns both that property and a 23,000-square-foot, four-story building located directly to the south, at 218 N. Bernard, that houses the Fruci & Associates PS certified public accounting firm and a medical billing and management company called Fruci Financial Services Inc. Those two companies combined employ 120 people, says Roger Fruci, a spokesman for the family.

Fruci says that although current plans call for construction of a building with two, 6,000-square-foot levels, the size of the building could be scaled back if construction bids, which are being sought now, come in too high.

He declines to disclose what the expected project cost will be. The building will have a small parking lot on its north side, accessible from both Spokane Falls and Bernard.

Design of the building has been completed by Zeck Butler Architects, of Spokane, and work on the project is expected to begin next month and take six to seven months to complete, Fruci says.

Under the current plans, a Kinkos copy service center would occupy the first floor of the building, and Kinkos has signed a long-term lease for that space, Fruci says. The second floor would attach to the building to the south that houses the Fruci accounting and medical-management companies, giving them a seamless way to expand, Fruci says, adding that the two businesses have run out of space in the Bernard Street building.

That building, which at one time housed a Greek restaurant and a hotel, was purchased by Roger Fruci Sr. and his wife, Marian, in 1956, and has housed Fruci & Associates ever since.

The elder Fruci says the familys goal has been to develop the former Sullys property in a way that would complement developments planned or under way on the east end of downtown.

We think that a Kinkos across the street from the Convention Center would be a very positive element for those involved in marketing Spokane to new convention business, he says.

Kinkos, which already operates four outlets in Spokane, expects to open in the new building by late summer, says Chuck Kutschko, Kinkos development manager for the Northwest. He says the new store will be a full-service outlet, open 24 hours a day, and will be similar to an outlet the Ventura, Calif.-based company opened at 212 N. Sullivan last year. Kinkos outlets of that size typically employ about 20 people, he says. Kutschko declines to disclose how much Kinkos expects to spend to open the store.

Carl Guenzel and Craig Soehren, both of Kiemle & Hagood Co., of Spokane, represented Fruci Family LLC and Kinkos, respectively.

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