Spokane Journal of Business

Iron Bridge changes course

Proposed industrial park now to be office complex, to cost up to $60 million

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Iron Bridge LLC, of Spokane, has revamped its proposed 18-acre Iron Bridge Campus, along the Spokane River a short way east of Hamilton Street, and plans to start work next spring on the first building in the development, which in all is expected to cost $50 million to $60 million.

Late last year, Iron Bridge disclosed plans to develop the commercial complex, at the old Layrite Products Co. site along Trent Avenue, as an industrial park. Since then, the company has redesigned the development as an office park, says Kent Hull, Iron Bridges managing partner.

Iron Bridge has requested from the city of Spokane a shoreline conditional-use permit and has submitted a binding site plan for the revamped project. Both items are scheduled to be discussed at a public hearing Thursday, Dec. 20.

Currently, Iron Bridge has no tenants signed up for the development, and the park likely would take several years to develop fully, depending on demand for space in the park. The first building, however, would be built speculatively, and should be completed by late next year, Hull says.

As now planned, the office park, situated roughly between Erie and Hogan streets, north of Trent, would include six office buildings with a total of 420,000 square feet of floor space.

The buildings would range in size from a two-story, 23,000-square-foot structure to a four-story, 80,000-square-foot building. All of the structures are to feature brick veneer and include a lot of windows.

This takes advantage of the river views better than the former plan, says Hull, adding that the river would be visible from five of the six structures.

In addition, a 4,000-square-foot riverfront restaurant, including 2,000 square feet of patio seating, is envisioned, as is a riverside walking trail with a small interpretive center that would include historical information, probably about the Spokane River, as well as public restrooms.

The park also would include a three- or four-level, 156,000-square-foot parking garage, and some of the office structures are designed to include a first-floor parking level.

In all, including some surface parking, the office park would include nearly 900 parking slots.

Iron Bridge plans to start work next spring on the smallest of the six proposed office structures, a two-story, 23,000-square-foot building planned along Trent between Perry and Hogan streets, in the southeast corner of the site, Hull says. He says that building is expected to cost between $3 million and $3.5 million to construct.

Iron Bridge currently is negotiating with two prospective tenants that are interested in space in that structure, and Hull says he expects to have at least one tenant secured before breaking ground on the project.

He says a hotel operator had been considering building a hotel on the site where the first office building now is slated to be constructed, but pulled out of that project after the Sept. 11 attack on America.

Divcon Inc., of Spokane, will be the general contractor on the first building in the office park, and Spokane architect Ron Joseph designed it.

As initially planned, the project included about the same amount of square footage as it does now, but the buildings were configured differently and were to include primarily industrial space. Also, the initial site plan didnt call for a restaurant or an interpretive center.

A total of 10 investors from Spokane and the Seattle area are involved in Iron Bridge LLC, including Hull and his wife, Linda, and his sister-in-law and her husband, Terri and Chris McDevitt, of Woodinville, Wash.

The development is named for an abandoned iron railroad bridge that crosses the Spokane River at the west side of the park and eventually is expected to be part of the planned trail system.

Hull previously owned Hullpak Manufacturing Inc., a packing-equipment maker here, and operated it just a few blocks south of the Iron Bridge Campus site.

That company moved to Spokanes North Side in the early 1990s, then sold most of the its assets in 1994.

In 1995, the company, which Hull says by then was just a shell corporation, liquidated the rest of the its assets under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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