Spokane Journal of Business

Washington Lottery office to move to NorthTown Mall

New space to house flagship retail store for organization

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Washington’s Lottery plans to open its first retail space in the NorthTown Mall this year, although those plans have already been slowed somewhat by the current pandemic, says Grove Ayers, general manager of the mall.

Joshua Johnston, deputy director of the state lottery system, adds that Washington Lottery’s will occupy about 2,100 square feet of space through a five-year lease.

The Washington’s Lottery regional office currently is located at 10517 E. Sprague, in Spokane Valley.

Ayers says over a third of the new space will be dedicated to the regional offices, which will move from the Sprague location upon completion of its new flagship retail site.

NorthTown Mall is managed by Ayers’ employer, Chicago-based global real estate services company Brookfield Properties, which manages over 170 locations across 43 states and represents over 146 million square feet of leasable space, according to the company’s website.

Brookfield also is planning tenant improvements for the lottery store.

A contractor hasn’t been selected yet for the remodeling project, which will go out to bid in early summer, Ayers says.

Johnston says the design for the project has been finalized, but the coronavirus pandemic and resulting “Stay Home, Stay Safe” mandate has halted the project temporarily.

“This shutdown threw a total monkey wrench into this thing. We’ve gone through design. Our plans are all drawn up and we’re getting ready to go out to bid … we just can’t get anybody to work on it,” Johnston says.

However, Ayers adds, once restrictions are eased, he anticipates the build-out to take 90 days.

“At first blush, it might look more like a cellphone store or Apple store,” Ayers adds. “It’ll have a clean, visual presentation.”

Johnston says the retail space, which will be called the Department of Imagination, will be a space where patrons can come and claim prizes, play the games, and learn about the Washington’s Lottery system and how the sales proceeds benefit the department’s beneficiaries. 

Most of the state’s share of lottery proceeds is distributed to educational programs, Johnston says.

In 2019, total sales for the fiscal year contributed $215.8 million to the system’s beneficiaries, according to the state lottery’s annual financial report.

The three employees at the regional office in the Valley will relocate to the new space, Johnston says, adding there are currently no plans to hire more employees for the store.

The new space will be located on the first floor of the mall, between the LensCrafters and Winnie’s Hallmark stores, directly across from Virtual Gamerz, the virtual reality arcade, Ayers says.

According to permit application information filed with the city of Spokane, Paramus, New Jersey-based Sargenti Architects is designing the space. Johnston says Washington’s Lottery worked with the design team at Canada-based Blake Jarrett & Co. and internal state architects to draw up the design plans.

Because the scope of the project has yet to be finalized, Ayers declines to disclose a project cost estimate, but says “it’ll be a pretty substantial build.”

Johnston says the planned Spokane retail site is a pilot project, and there are currently no plans to open any other similar locations in the state.

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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