Spokane Journal of Business

Industrial, office park eyed

Spokane company seeking zone change for $16 million project near former zoo site

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A company headed by Spokane builder and developer John G. Miller hopes to begin development next month on the first phase of an estimated $16 million light-industrial and office park near the former Walk in the Wild Zoo site in the Spokane Valley.


The park would be located on a 15-acre site at the southeast corner of Pines Road and Euclid Avenue, about a mile north of Interstate 90. Miller, manager of Lumber Yard Investments LLC, the company that would develop the park, says the complex would include six, 25,000-square-foot buildings. Miller also is president of Divcon Inc., a Spokane construction company that would be the general contractor on the project.


Lumber Yard Investments has asked Spokane County to change the sites zoningto light industrial from single-family residentialto allow for development of the park. The county hearing examiner will hold a hearing on the request Sept. 9.


Miller says that Lumber Yard Investments is in the process of buying the L-shaped parcel proposed as the development site. That parcel is located just west of the Pinecroft Natural Area, a 100-acre, state-owned natural area, and is just north and east of the headquarters of the East Valley School District.


The planned industrial and office park, which would be called Pinecroft Business Park, would include four, single-story industrial structures just south of Euclid along the parks northern boundary, and two, three-story brick office buildings that would be erected in the southeastern portion of the park. The office buildings would be carved into a hillside that slopes in a northwest direction, and would face toward the industrial buildings.


The Pinecroft Business Park is the second big development proposal that Lumber Yard Investments has made. Early last year, the company announced plans to develop a $15 million light-industrial park on the 32-acre former Crown Pacific Ltd. lumber yard in East Spokane. That site, which also is known as the Long Lake Lumber site, is located about two blocks north of Trent Avenue, near Playfair Race Course, and is bounded by Broadway Avenue on the south, Desmet Avenue on the north, Stone Street on the west, and Nelson Street on the east.


Miller says those plans were scrapped after the investment group sold the property to the city of Spokane. The city wants to build a new maintenance and operations complex there. Pete Fortin, deputy city manager, says the City Council probably will discuss a financing package for the project, which has yet to be designed but would include at least five new buildings, at a council meeting in September.


The park that Lumber Yard Investments is proposing near the old Walk in the Wild Zoo site also would include extensive landscaping to give it a campus-like atmosphere, Miller says. This is a vision Ive had for Spokane for a long time, he says.


If the county approves the zone change, Divcon would begin work immediately on the first phase of the project, Miller says. That phase, which is expected to cost about $2 million, would include construction of the first of the four industrial buildings. The single-story, concrete building would be located at the southeast corner of the Pines-Euclid intersection, and probably would be occupied by a single tenant. Miller declines to disclose that tenant until the project has been approved and a lease has been signed.


The first phase also would include site preparations throughout the park, including installation of water and sewer pipes, and electrical and communications lines. The first phase would be completed in early 1999.


Miller says construction of the remaining five buildings in the park probably would be completed in phases. Some might be built on a speculative basis and others would be built as tenants are secured. He estimates that the park would be completed in six to eight years.


The parks industrial buildings would be marketed to light industrial and small manufacturers that need space for light assembly and warehouse storage. Miller says tenants would be required to lease a minimum of 2,100 square feet of space in the industrial buildings, and he guesses that most of the tenants would need between 3,000 and 6,000 square feet of space.


The park was designed by Architectural Ventures, of Spokane. Inland Pacific Engineers Co., of Spokane, is the engineer for the infrastructure improvements. Miller says a real estate firm hasnt been selected to market the project.


Divcon Inc. is a 23-year-old, general-contracting company that does mostly light-commercial and industrial construction projects. The company is wrapping up work on a 10,000-square-foot office building at the southeast corner of Post Street and Sharpe Avenue, about a block north of the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. A majority of that building will be occupied by a multijurisdictional government agency called Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington. The company also is building a 6,800-square-foot post office in the Spokane International Airport Business Park, at the northwest corner of Geiger Boulevard and Will D. Alton Lane.


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