Spokane Journal of Business

Labor organizations here buy buildings, to move

Plumbers local, carpenters association affiliates expect to relocate this summer

  • Print Article

The United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 44, of Spokane, has bought two 20,000-square-foot buildings in East Spokane for $1.75 million and plans to move its operations to one of those buildings this summer.

Separately, Carpenters Building Association of Spokane, a newly formed entity, has bought a building at 127 E. Augusta and two attached buildings behind it at 126 E. Nora, for an undisclosed sum. The group will move its offices and training operations to that facility, which has 21,000 total square feet, in July.

The two buildings bought by Local 44 are located at 3901 and 3917 E. Main. The union has contracted with Garco Construction Inc., of Spokane, to remodel the easternmost of the two buildings for $230,000, says Pete Crow, a union representative. That project, which is expected to be completed in June, will allow the union to house its offices and its apprenticeship-training center there.

Business Manager Scott Smith said in a release that the union has been looking for a suitable property for about two years now, . We will be able to expand our apprenticeship and journeyman training for our industry.

Local 44 will lease the entire other building to the Spokane Visiting Nurse Association and about 2,500 square feet of floor space in the east building to the Spokane office of Stryker Howmedica Osteonics, a distributor of reconstructive orthopedic devices, he says.

Crow says the union plans to sell a 10,000-square-foot structure at 10 W. Second that it currently occupies. Byrd Real Estate Group LLC, of Spokane, handled the purchase of the two buildings and is marketing the unions downtown building, Crow says.

Once remodeled, the East Spokane building will have an 11,000-square-foot training space that will include classrooms, a large meeting room, and a weld-technology shop. Also being remodeled in that building are 4,500 square feet of office space, restrooms, and storage space. The remaining 2,000 square feet will be remodeled for future lessees, Crow says. The union employs eight people, and represents about 500 members.

Apprentices and instructors from the union will overhaul the buildings plumbing and heating systems using equipment, pipes, and fixtures donated by several companies here that participate in the unions training programs, Crow says.

Meanwhile, the carpenters association, which includes the Spokane-based Carpenters Local 98, the Spokane office of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, and the Eastern Washington-Northern Idaho Carpenters Apprenticeship Committee, bought the buildings on Augusta to house union offices and training programs.

The property includes a building that faces East Augusta, and two buildings just to the north.

Chuck Danner, training coordinator with the program that the apprenticeship committee oversees, says the move was instigated by an increase in rent at the programs former location at 5309 E. Third. The program moved from that 20,000-square-foot space last July, and its apprentices and three employees have been operating since at Spokane Community College and at temporary locations, he says.

Also moving to that space will be Local 98s lone employee and the regional councils six staff members. Local 98 has more than 500 members, who will use meeting space there. The union and the council currently occupy 2,350 square feet of office space at 222 W. Mission.

Garco also is remodeling most of the space in the buildings bought by the Carpenters Building Association, but the apprentices will complete some portions of the project. The work is expected to be completed by July, Danner says.

Danner declines to disclose the cost of the remodeling project, which will include creating a 3,000-square-foot meeting hall in the structure that fronts Augusta and adjoining the two buildings behind it.

Vern Byrd & Associates Inc., of Spokane, handled that transaction.

  • Megan Cooley

  • Follow RSS feed for Megan Cooley

Read More

Sign up for our E-mail updates

including the
Morning Edition

Join our list