Spokane Journal of Business

Riverfalls Tower undergoes overhaul

Updates to apartments, lobby, garage planned

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Riverfalls Tower Development Co., of Spokane, is renovating the 46-year-old Riverfalls Tower, at 1224 W. Riverside on the west end of downtown Spokane.

The 16-floor, 100-unit apartment complex will undergo $2.5 million in cosmetic upgrades to the apartment units, and maintenance to its five-story parking garage, says Ryan Bollinger, project manager with Spokane architecture firm Heylman Martin & Associates PS, which is designing the improvements.

Bollinger says the renovations to the living units will include updates to the finishes to modernize the apartments in hopes of luring more millennials. The wall between the kitchen and living area will be removed and a breakfast bar will be installed to create a more open space in each unit, he says. Cabinets and flooring will be updated as well.

“We’re looking to shed some of that ‘70s atmosphere,” Bollinger says.

The idea is to draw in new tenants and maintain high occupancy rates in the 12,100-square-foot building in the face of increasing competition in town, as more buildings downtown are being renovated into housing, such as The M Building, at 608 W. Main, or the Ridpath Club Apartments, at 515 W. First, says Bollinger. 

The Riverfalls apartment units will be renovated in floor-by-floor phases to accommodate the residents, who will be shifted from floor to floor as work continues, he says.

Yost Gallagher Construction, of Spokane, is the contractor on the project.

Other work will involve renovations to the lobby area and moving a manager and maintenance office into a lower level to allow for a better use of lobby space, Bollinger says.

The concrete in the garage hasn’t been touched since the building was built, and therefore requires wear-and-tear maintenance, he says.

Concrete work began in February, he says, and demolition work on the first phase of apartment units began early this month.

Bollinger says he’s uncertain when construction will be completed, as the team will need to work around tenants to ensure as little disruption as possible.

The Riverfalls Tower was built in 1973 and designed by Warren Heylman, a renowned Spokane architect who also designed the Parkade Plaza parking garage, the Spokane International Airport, the Cathedral Plaza residential tower, the Norman Wells House, and the Lincoln Garden Apartments. 

“It’s a great location, a great building,” Bollinger says of the Riverfalls Tower. “It just needs a little bit of updating.”

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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