Spokane Journal of Business

Investor duo to develop loft units downtown

Brewster, Green team up, plan 18 to 20 apartments on Montvale’s upper floors

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Spokane real estate developer Rob Brewster Jr. and telecommunications entrepreneur Greg Green plan to team up to develop loft-style apartments on the upper floors of the three-story Montvale Block building downtown.

It is the first of what we believe are several (downtown-housing) projects wed like to develop, says Green, who is chairman and CEO of One Eighty Communications, a Spokane-based dial-tone and high-speed Internet provider.

Brewster says, I keep hearing there is a demand for downtown housing. This is the opportunity for the community to say, Yup, we do want that. I think its an important component to the economic viability of downtown Spokane.

He and Green say the project will include development of 18 to 20 open-concept, loft-style apartments, including studio and two-bedroom units, on the second and third floors of the Montvale, which is located at the northwest corner of Monroe Street and First Avenue. Work on the project could begin by the end of next month, and the units should be ready to occupy by late this year, they say. Brewster says Conover Bond Development, a Spokane-based company that he heads, will develop and manage the apartment complex for a limited-liability corporation that he and Green will own jointly. Green says he and Brewster already have begun accepting reservations for the apartments.

Tentative plans call for the apartments to range in size from about 700 square feet to 1,000 square feet and in price from about $800 to $950 a month. All will be nonsmoking and will be equipped for high-speed Internet service.

Were going to have a hot tub, a gazebo, a barbecue, and a deck on the roof. It will be very much the urban-living environment, Green says. The building also will have a high-tech security system and on-site parking for each tenant, he says.

Brewster says, The idea is to try to bring some of the more professional renters and home dwellers downtown and give them an opportunity to live in the core, in an area that is more artsy and eclectic.

He says he foresees the Montvale apartments appealing mostly to urban professionals between about 21 and 40 years of age.

He and Green say most of the housing currently available downtown is high-end or low-end in terms of cost, but theres little in between.

Green says, This, for us, is kind of the proof of concept. We want to do this project first, but we have our eye on a couple of other buildings that we think are suitable for similar residential-focused redevelopment.

Green and Brewster both own commercial buildings downtown, and they co-own two Brownes Addition apartment buildings, The Espanola and The Elm, that together have 52 units.

Brewster, who earlier rehabilitated the historic six-story Holley Mason Building downtown and also owns the seven-story Hutton Building, bought the Montvale Block about five years ago. He previously had said he planned to convert the buildings top two floors into a 36-room boutique hotel.

He recently has been remodeling the basement of the building to accommodate a restaurant and bar called the Catacombs that he says he expects to open in July. The building also currently houses Far West Billiards and the Butterfly Gardens flower shop on the main floor.

Kim Crompton
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