Spokane Journal of Business

GVD’s Jerry Dicker buys Steam Plant from Avista

Assessed value listed at $3.9M

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Jerry Dicker, owner of Spokane-based GVD Hospitality Management Services Inc., has acquired the historic Steam Plant Square commercial complex from Avista Development for a price the seller and buyer decline to disclose, Avista announced today, Friday, May 21.

The Spokane County Assessor’s Office lists a 2021 taxable value of the Steam Plant and surrounding property, at $3.9 million. Steam Plant is located at 159 S. Lincoln St. in downtown Spokane and is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, featuring a pair of 225-foot-high smokestacks.

The adjacent Seehorn-Lang building and parking lot will also be sold with the Steam Plant property. The Steam Plant Square complex is three stories and encompasses 30,000 square feet. The Seehorn-Lang Building is two stories, 12,000 square feet, and the parking lot is 12,200 square feet.

Avista Corp. spokeswoman Laurine Jue says Dicker was one of several investors from both in and beyond the Spokane area who submitted bids to acquire the 104-year-old building.

Jue says Avista selected Dicker’s acquisition bid based on his Spokane ties and existing property portfolio.

Dicker owns Hotel Ruby, at 901 W. First; Montvale Hotel, at 1005 W. First; Hotel Ruby2, at 123 S. Post; Ruby Suites, at 1120 N. Division; and The Bing Crosby Theater, at 901 W. Sprague.

Ed Schlect, president of Avista Development, tells the Journal the company decided to sell the building as “it is no longer core to our utility operations.”

Avista Development is a nonutility subsidiary of Avista Corp. that invests in local real estate and businesses. Schlect says Avista has taken “great care” of the Steam Plant for more than a century.

“It’s with mixed emotions that Avista decided to sell this property, which has played such an important role in the history of our company and the city of Spokane for more than 100 years,” Schlect says in a press release.

The Steam Plant building is located adjacent to railroad tracks that once delivered coal used to generate steam and electricity that provided heat and power to 300 buildings downtown through a kaleidoscope of pipes and tunnels below the streets of downtown.

Avista renovated the property in the late 1990s, maintaining and preserving its historic and architectural feel, while modernizing the building with a restaurant, and retail and office space.

Today, the underground tunnels serve as corridors for Avista Corp.’s downtown network, which provides energy to the downtown business district.

Kevin Blocker
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