Spokane Journal of Business

West Plains to get 870 apartments

Vandervert-led companies start Cheney complex, plan another by Airway Heights

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Companies headed by prominent Spokane developer Dick Vandervert have two big West Plains apartment projects in the works that are to include 870 living units and are to be built at a total cost of nearly $56 million.

Work already is under way on the smaller of the two projects, a 150-unit complex in Cheney, and the other, a 720-unit development to be located near Airway Heights, is likely to begin this coming fall, says Lowell McKee, a Spokane real estate developer who is involved with Vandervert in both projects.

In all, about $16.8 million in workand 270 of the living unitsis expected to be completed within the next 12 months as the first parts of the two projects are built.

Over 35,000 people (live or work) in that area, McKee says. Its just a huge little draw.

In the larger project near Airway Heights, Granite Investments LLC, of which Vandervert is the managing partner, envisions constructing the 720 living units on 40 acres of vacant land along the east side of Hayford Road, about a quarter mile north of U.S. 2, McKee says. The overall development is expected to be about $46.8 million.

Granite Investments plans to develop the project in six stages, with 120 living units constructed in each stage. It likely will take four years to complete the entire project, which hasnt been named yet, McKee says.

As currently planned, the first stage of development will include 15 two-story buildings, each with eight living units, as well as a recreation center.

The site for the complex, which is zoned for multifamily housing, is just north of a 30-acre site at the northeast corner of Hayford and U.S. 2 on which Granite Investments plans to build a 161,000-square-foot shopping center. Granite hopes to start work on that project later this summer, says McKee, though it hasnt yet signed an anchor tenant for the project.

Granite Investments also is considering developing a retirement community near the apartment complex, and McKee says the company is talking to a few retirement-home operators about forming a joint venture for that project. He says, however, that Granite hasnt determined the size or scope of that potential project and likely wouldnt start work on it until next spring at the earliest.

In Cheney, a company called MV LLC, in which Vandervert and McKee are partners, has begun developing the second project, Rock Springs Apartments, at the southwest corner of Betz Road and Al Ogden Way.

That $9 million project will include about 150 living units, all of which are expected to be built within the next year, McKee says.

Currently, four three-level buildings with a total of 48 living units are under construction at the development site, and are scheduled to be completed by August.

Those apartment buildings will include living units that range in size from one-bedroom, one-bathroom units with 750 square feet of floor space to three-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath units with about 1,200 square feet of floor space.

McKee says MV LLC already has pre-leased out about 75 percent of the living unitsmostly to EWU students, faculty, and staffand plans to start the projects next phase late this summer.

EWUs enrollment has grown in recent years and now stands at about 8,600 students.

McKee says MV LLC intends to sell the Cheney apartment complex after its completed.

Vanderverts construction company, Vandervert Construction Inc., is the general contractor on the Cheney project and will build the complex near Airway Heights as well. Russell C. Page Architects, of Spokane, is the architect for both projects.

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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