Point Breakthrough: Nearly $100M in projects planned at Mirabeau Point
Work includes entertainment venue, offices, apartments, more
Erica BullockMarch 16th, 2023
Years into its development, the Mirabeau Point area of Spokane Valley is now home to nearly $100 million in projects that are planned or underway.
Development activity includes the addition of a lodging facility, an entertainment center, retailers, residential units, and a significant road infrastructure project.
“You’re going to be able to get the walkability of the downtown, Kendall Yards area, but you’ll be in the Valley.” says Ryan Lewis, director of residential real estate for Spokane-based Cowles Real Estate Co.
Idaho Central Spokane Valley Performing Arts Center, valued at $48 million, tops the list of Mirabeau area developments as the most expensive project now underway.
The facility is under construction by Spokane-based Garco Construction Inc. NAC Architecture, also of Spokane, designed the project.
When complete, the Spokane Valley Summer Theater will have space to perform year-round in a 59,000-square-foot facility featuring a 475-seat main-stage theater, a 175-seat flexible theater space, and a youth acting conservatory. The venue also will have event and meeting space on the third floor, an outdoor terrace, and a garden.
Located at 13609 E. Mansfield, east of and next to the 2-year-old Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley hotel, the performing arts center’s exterior building shell is expected to be complete this fall.
“Everything is happening right now,” says capital campaign director Georgia Oxford. “All the groundwork is happening, and we’re anticipating having the shell of the building up by this fall so the construction company can work on the interior through the winter.”
The performing arts center is scheduled to open by summer 2024.
Just over a mile northwest of the performing arts center site, funding has recently been acquired for the planned Pines Road and BNSF Railway Co. grade separation project, valued at about $40 million, says Emily Estes-Cross, public information officer for the city of Spokane Valley.
The project is intended to improve safety, relieve congestion, and reduce traffic delays by replacing the BNSF crossing at Pines Road with an underpass and redesigning the Pines Road-Trent Avenue intersection to add a double-lane roundabout.
Currently, about 35,000 vehicles travel through the intersection at Trent Avenue and Pines Road, and a daily average of 65 trains pass through the crossing there, adding up to about 31,000 hours of vehicle delays a year. BNSF also has proposed adding a second track to the existing rail line that likely will increase traffic congestion and delays next year, according to project information provided by the city of Spokane Valley.
Estes-Cross says the grade-separation project construction is expected to begin in 2024 and likely will take about two years to complete.
“But that doesn’t mean that it’s two years’ worth of traffic impacts because much of the project can be developed without impacting current traffic flows,” she says.
The design is complete and funding has been acquired.
“We’re in the process of acquiring any remaining right-of-way needed,” Estes-Cross adds.
Erica Amsden, engineering manager for the city of Spokane Valley, adds, “We have 13 parcels that we’re acquiring … and then we’re also working through an agreement with BNSF for the parts of the roadway on their property.”
Funding for the development has been provided through multiple grants and donations, including $21.7 million from Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, $10.2 million from the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, $5 million from Washington state Department of Transportation, $1 million granted by the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements, and $800,000 worth of land donated by Avista Corp.
Amsden says the project will not only ease significant traffic delays, but also will benefit emergency services, enabling them to reach their destinations faster.
“Also, the intersection will have a lot of safety impacts and will be much safer with a superior design,” she adds.
Project information shows 49 collisions were reported at the intersection from 2017 to 2021, which Amsden attributes to high incoming speeds that increase the probability of serious crashes.
“When we replace it with a roundabout, we’ll have a situation with reduced congestion and also lower speeds, so if there are vehicle crashes, they’re much less serious,” Amsden says.
Estes-Cross adds, “When you can separate the train traffic from vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic, you’re definitely improving safety.”
A new trailhead for the Centennial Trail will be included in the project on land donated by Avista Corp. that will provide parking, restrooms, electric vehicle charging, and access to the trail and Spokane River.
The grade-separation project ultimately will benefit the Mirabeau Point neighborhood by improving access to the area with nearly 170 acres of undeveloped mixed-use, commercial, and industrial land.
Additional developments in Mirabeau Point include the nearly complete $4.6 million Valley Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, located at 13512 E. Mansfield.
Baker Construction & Development Inc. is the contractor on the project. Bernardo Wills, of Spokane, designed the 12,900-square-foot medical office building, which has one story with a partial basement, permit information on file with the city of Spokane Valley shows.
East of the Affinity at Mirabeau retirement complex at 13525 E. Carlisle, 18 apartment units will be available this spring at the River Landing at Mirabeau project, says Lewis, of Cowles Real Estate Co.
River Landing will have a mix of apartments and townhomes totaling 66 residential units in the first phase of development, he says.
The apartments will be one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with high-end interior finishes, Lewis says. The townhomes will be two-bedroom and three-bedroom units with attached garages.
The city of Spokane Valley’s permit information shows four, six-unit, 5,100-square-foot buildings valued at a total of $2.8 million are planned there.
Centennial Properties Inc., a subsidiary of Cowles Co., is the owner and developer of River Landing at Mirabeau.
He declines to disclose future plans for the remaining vacant parcels of land in the Mirabeau neighborhood.
Rounding out the Mirabeau Point developments is the Horizon Credit Union facilities building, at 13224 E. Mansfield, next to Horizon’s headquarters building.
As previously reported in the Journal, the $1.2 million, 4,750-square-foot storage and facilities building will provide a dedicated space for the credit union’s maintenance and operations teams, while giving room to expand and remodel the administrative building next door.
East of the Affinity at Mirabeau property, Grant and Elisabeth Guinn, owners of Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley through their company GL8 Hospitality LLC, have purchased 3.2 acres of vacant land where the couple plans eventually to build a short-term lodging facility, tentatively dubbed Homewood Suites by Hilton, at 13515 E. Carlisle.
GL8 Hospitality purchased the land from Centennial Properties Inc. for $1.3 million last March, tax information shows. They decline to disclose costs estimates and construction timelines for the project.