Spokane Journal of Business

West Plains commercial center planned

Spokane couple bought land north of I-90 from Catholic Diocese for $2.3 million

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A Spokane couple who bought nearly 93 acres on the West Plains from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane late last month say they plan to develop a big commercial center there.

Walter Knopp says he and Bonita Greene bought the land for $2.3 million at an auction the diocese held Aug. 31.

The diocese had received an initial offer of $1.3 million for the property, but held an auction after receiving other qualified bids before an Aug. 30 deadline.

Vern Byrd, of Spokane-based Byrd Real Estate Group LLC, represented Knopp and Greene in the transaction.

The vacant site is located just north of Interstate 90 and directly south of Medical Lake Road, across I-90 from the Fairways Travel Center and a planned retail center called Fairways Plaza.

The sites proximity to both Spokane International Airport and Fairchild Air Force Base, as well as the city of Airway Heights and Northern Qwest Casino, makes it a prime spot for development, Knopp says.

Its an excellent location, he says. Theres lots of expansion happening on the south side of I-90, but we like the north side of the highway and think its a key location.

The couple plan to develop an office park, a hotel or motel, restaurants, and other commercial spaces there that would cater to people traveling on I-90, Knopp says.

Theyre still in the preliminary planning stages for the property, though, and will start developing after they receive responses from interested tenants, he says.

Knopp says he and Greene hope to select an architect and engineer for the project this year, and likely would start construction sometime next year. Theyre marketing the land nationwide, but also are interested in local companies that are looking to expand or relocate to the West Plains, he says.

Contact Emily Proffitt at (509) 344-1265 or via e-mail at emilyp@spokanejournal.com.

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