Spokane Journal of Business

Liberty Mutual to expand at Liberty Lake

Greenstone will develop $7.3 million structure on Meadowwood campus

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-—Rendering courtesy of Bernardo|Wills Architects PC
The 64,000-square-foot Meadowwood Three building is scheduled to be completed next spring.

Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Boston-based insurance conglomerate, has signed a long-term lease for a 64,000-square-foot building that Greenstone Corp. will develop for it on the Meadowwood Technology Campus, in Liberty Lake, says Wayne Frost, managing director for Greenstone's commercial affiliate.

The city of Liberty Lake has issued a building permit for the project, named Meadowwood Three, in which it lists the project value at $7.3 million.

The new building will accommodate up to 400 employees, Frost says.

Construction will start Monday, and Liberty Mutual will start moving in early next spring, he says.

Divcon Inc., of Spokane Valley, is the contractor on the project, and Bernardo|Wills Architects PC, of Spokane, designed it. The Spokane office of Seattle-based DCI Engineers is the structural engineer for the project.

The new space will be in addition to the Liberty Mutual's current claims and service center that occupies 105,000 square feet of floor space in the 250,000-square-foot Meadowwood One building, also on the Meadowwood campus, Frost says.

Other than confirming that Liberty Mutual will lease the entire Meadowwood Three building, Frost declines to disclose the terms of the lease.

Glenn Greenberg, a Boston-based spokesman for Liberty Mutual, says the company's operations in Liberty Lake deal predominantly with personal insurance lines claims and Safeco agent customer call centers. Safeco Insurance is an affiliate of Liberty Mutual.

"The additional space will accommodate our growing service needs in line with our growth of both the Liberty Mutual and Safeco personal insurance brands in the western half of the country," Greenberg says.

Preliminary site plans on file with the city of Liberty Lake show the main access to Meadowwood Three will be via Mission Avenue. The building will be served by an existing, 400-space parking lot, preliminary plans say.

The Meadowwood Three building will be directly south of Meadowwood One, which is located at 24001 E. Mission Avenue. The Meadowwood Technology Campus, just south of the big Huntwood Industries Inc. manufacturing plant, is envisioned as a corporate complex on 70 acres of land that Greenstone Corp. bought in 2010. The site previously was owned by Santa Clara, Calif.-based scientific-instrument maker Agilent Technologies Inc., a spinoff of Palo Alto-based electronics manufacturing giant Hewlett-Packard Co.

Agilent closed its Liberty Lake operations here after whittling its workforce to less than 100 in 2010 from a peak 1,200 employees in 2001.

Meadowwood Three will be built ahead of Meadowwood Two, another envisioned office building that's still in the conceptual stage, Frost says.

Meadowwood Two, which is proposed as a roughly 40,000-square-foot single story office, assembly, and technology building, would be located just northeast of Meadowwood One, online leasing information shows.

Liberty Mutual leased the Meadowwood One space in 2011 and moved 800 employees there last year from another site in Liberty Lake.

The Meadowwood One building is fully occupied, Frost says. Other tenants there include Providence Health & Services, Demand Energy Networks Inc., Design Source Solutions Inc., Ptera Inc., and Mountain Dog Sign Co.

As of Monday, Liberty Mutual had eight Liberty Lake-based job postings on its website, including for positions in its claims, customer-service, and information-technology departments.

In its most recent earnings statement, Liberty Mutual's parent company, Liberty Mutual Holding Co., reported net income of $776 million for the six months ended June 30, up 28 percent from $598 million for the year-earlier period. LMHC reported it had total assets of $121.2 billion and more than 50,000 people in about 900 offices worldwide.

Mike Livingston, of Spokane-based commercial real estate brokerage Kiemle & Hagood Co., represented Greenstone, and Craig Jablin, of the Los Angeles office of New York-based Studley Inc., represented Liberty Mutual in negotiating the lease.

Greenstone Corp., the prominent Liberty Lake-based real estate development company, also is developing the 78-acre Kendall Yards urban village northwest of downtown Spokane and the big mixed-use River District, in Liberty Lake, among other mostly residential developments in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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