Spokane Journal of Business

Panda Express to rise at White Elephant’s North Division site

North Division location to have drive-thru access

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A Panda Express restaurant is planned at the site of the former White Elephant retail store on North Division Street, according to a building permit application submitted to the city by a Midwest-based architecture company.

Klover Architects Inc. has submitted plans to convert the building at 1730 N. Division into a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and a drive-thru lane, the application shows.

The estimated construction value is listed at $750,000.

Attempts by the Journal to reach representatives at Klover Architects were unsuccessful. The company is based in Lenexa, Kansas, roughly 15 miles southwest of Kansas City.

On its website, Klover Architects says it has served as the “prototype architect” for Panda Express for more than 25 years.

“We have assisted in renovating existing freestanding structures and converting in-line locations into the unique architecture that helps define Panda Express,” the company’s website says.

Panda Restaurant Group Inc., the parent company of the Panda Express, says on its website the American Chinese fast-food restaurant chain was founded in 1983 in Glendale, California. The company says it has more than 2,100 stores, employs 40,000, and does $3 billion in annual sales.

White Elephant, known for selling sporting goods and toys, was founded in 1946 by John R. Conley after he returned from service in World War II. His sons Patrick and Richard Conley closed the White Elephant stores on North Division and at 12614 E. Sprague, in Spokane Valley, last July.

Kevin Blocker
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