Spokane Journal of Business

New industrial park planned in Hillyard area

L.B. Stone Properties envisions complex with half million square feet

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Spokane real estate development company L.B. Stone Properties LLC plans to construct a new industrial park on 22 acres just west of the Esmeralda Golf Course, in the Hillyard neighborhood, says Nick Czapla, chief operating officer with L.B. Stone.

Tentatively named Esmeralda Commerce Park, L.B. Stone Properties aims to develop five speculative buildings with a total of 500,000 square feet of space, says Czapla.

“We’re still fine-tuning the layouts,” he says.

Czapla declines to disclose cost or revenue estimates for the future industrial park.

However, future tenants at Esmeralda Industrial Park are expected to generate 1,000 jobs, “based on what we’ve seen here at Playfair,” he says.

Czapla is referring to Playfair Commerce Park, an L.B. Stone development at 2800 E. Main, in East Spokane, that has multiple buildings with a total of 450,000 square feet of floor space. Three more structures with a total of 234,000 square feet of floor space are being built there and are expected to be completed later this year in an expansion valued at roughly $10 million. 

At the proposed Esmeralda park, construction is expected to start as early as spring, at which time developers will focus on building streets, drainage systems, and other infrastructure work, he says, adding that L.B. Stone hopes to begin construction on the first of the buildings in early summer.

Czapla says work likely will be conducted under the design-build delivery method, although no contractor has been selected yet.

“Our plan is to make this look very similar to the Playfair Commerce Park,” emulating the buildings and oversized streets and other landscape aspects of Playfair, says Czapla.

The developer anticipates businesses similar to those in Playfair will lease space in Esmeralda, he says. Current tenants at Playfair include Airefco Inc., a wholesale distributor of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products; AMI Metals Inc., a cut-to-size metal service center; Copper State Bolt & Nut Co., a manufacturer and distributor of fasteners and related products; and L.B. Stone affiliate Scafco Corp., a steel framing products manufacturer.

Czapla says L.B. Stone selected the Hillyard property for the planned industrial park development because north Spokane has a significant portion of the population, but much of the recent industrial space has been developed east of the city.

Traveling from north Spokane to those areas makes for a long commute, he says.

“This will bring jobs and good businesses within five miles of the most populated areas of Spokane,” he asserts.

Also, the industrial park will have easy access to the North Spokane Corridor, a portion of which will be constructed just west of the planned industrial park, he says.

The new construction is proposed amid a tight industrial real estate market, in which only 2.4 percent of industrial space in Spokane County is vacant, according to an October survey conducted by Spokane Valley-based Valbridge Property Advisors|Inland Pacific Northwest.

As previously reported in the Journal, the Playfair expansion includes a building currently under construction and plans for two other buildings for a total of 234,000 square feet of new space. Playfair currently has a total of 450,000 square feet of space in seven buildings.

L.B. Stone also hopes to begin constructing in the spring a 100,000-square-foot industrial building at the northeast corner of Sprague Avenue and Fancher Road, two miles directly east of Playfair.

Samantha Peone
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Reporter Samantha Peone joined the Journal in 2015 as research coordinator before later transitioning into a reporter role. She covers real estate and construction.

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