Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane Valley issues first permits for Katerra factory

Facility here will produce mass timber products

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The city of Spokane Valley has issued a permit to Katerra Inc. to begin foundation work for its $35 million factory planned at 19202 E. Garland Lane.

Representatives for Menlo Park, Calif.-based Katerra couldn’t be reached for comment.

An affiliate, Katerra Construction LLC, is listed on the permit information as the general contractor.

A press release issued earlier by Katerra says the factory will produce mass timber products, such as cross-laminated timber panels and glued laminated timber components.

CLT panels are solid engineered wood panels with a high strength-to-weight ratio. They’re typically made with five or more layers of wood cut from small-diameter timber, potentially making the panels more sustainable than conventional lumber products cut from larger-diameter timber.

Tacoma, Wash.-based American Plywood Association defines glued laminated timber as engineered wood beams that it contends can be stronger than steel.

The factory here will occupy 250,000 square feet of space, the press release says.

Katerra earlier this year opened a 220,000-square-foot CLT manufacturing plant in Phoenix that the company’s website says is expected to employ more than 400 workers by year-end.

The company boasts on the website that the Phoenix plant enables Katerra to build a 24-unit apartment building every two weeks, cabinets and countertops for 15,000 apartments per year, and 12,000 door assemblies a year.

Regarding its plans here, the company earlier had claimed its presence will provide hundreds of jobs while also stimulating the growth of thousands of additional jobs through the larger supply chain and related industries.

The facility will occupy 29 acres of a 52-acre site and will result in more than 150 construction jobs. Production is scheduled to start in 2018, says the release.

Centennial Properties Inc. is listed on permit information as the landowner. The real estate holding company is a subsidiary of Spokane-based Cowles Co., which also owns the Journal of Business.

Current Katerra construction projects here include the $15.2 million, 132-unit Riverhouse II Senior Living project at 16807 E. Mission. Bernardo|Wills Architects PC, of Spokane designed the project, the Journal previously reported.

Katerra also is working on the Coeur d’Alene-based Kootenai Health Hospitality Center, a collaboration between Community Cancer Fund, Kootenai Health, and Ronald McDonald House of Charities of the Inland Northwest.

The two-story facility, which will be constructed with CLT panels, will provide accommodations for adult patients and their families for a low cost. The center also will provide free accommodations for pediatric patients and their families accessing services at Kootenai Health hospital. 

In August, the Journal reported Katerra acquired Spokane design firm Nystrom+Olson, a business founded here in 2005.

Katerra described the acquisition then as part of a Pacific Northwest expansion “with a particular emphasis on Spokane.”

Katerra was cofounded by multifamily housing developer Fritz H. Wolff, who has strong ties to the Spokane area.

Wolff, who is a Katerra board member, also is executive chairman of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Wolff Co., the apartment development company that relocated to Scottsdale from Spokane in 2000.

Wolff is the son of Alvin J. Fritz Wolff, another Wolff Co. executive known well in Spokane.

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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