Spokane Journal of Business

Manufacturers make room with $60M in projects

Projects nearing $60M in total value underway for four companies here

  • Print Article
-—Knife River Corp.
The new, $40 million Knife River Corp. facility is located on the Washington side of the Washington-Idaho state line.

Prominent manufacturers in the Spokane area are expanding either through construction at new locations, acquiring existing buildings, or conducting on-site renovations.

All told, the projects at Knife River Corp., MacKay Manufacturing Inc., McKinstry Co., and Overcast Innovations LLC are valued at about $59.5 million combined.

On the west side of the Spokane metro area, near Airway Heights, McKinstry Co. has broken ground on a new 68,000-square-foot fabrication and manufacturing facility. McKinstry will share 25,000 square feet of the building with Overcast Innovations, a McKinstry subsidiary that designs and builds flexible building systems.

Thomas Tellefsen, vice president of Pacific Northwest mechanical new construction at McKinstry’s offices in Seattle, says the facility will allow Overcast Innovations to triple its production capacity and to double its workforce in Spokane.

The manufacturing facility, which will rise near Flint Road, north of Spokane International Airport, is expected to be operational by late next year. 

Of McKinstry’s Spokane-based employees, 16 who currently work in McKinstry’s fabrication shop here will transfer to the West Plains facility after it’s built, Tellefsen says. The facility ultimately will employ about 120 people, he adds.

“The West Plains is a dynamic place to be located, with many manufacturing and industrial developments in recent years,” Tellefsen says. “The central proximity and ease of access were big drivers in our decision to choose the area.”

The facility, which will be located on a 5-acre site, will produce prefabricated sheet metal, piping, and plumbing materials and systems.

Tellefsen declines to disclose the project’s cost, although building permit information for the facility shows a construction value of $18.6 million.

At MacKay Manufacturing, located in Spokane Valley, a mezzanine has been added to the main building, and renovations are underway on a building acquired last year. The company now is in the process of buying another nearby structure.

In all, work at MacKay’s facilities will total $1.5 million, says Katie MacKay, vice president of MacKay Manufacturing.

MacKay says she ultimately aims to acquire all six of the buildings that share the city block with MacKay Manufacturing, which is located at 10011 E. Montgomery.

“We’re trying to secure as much real estate as we can close to our main building so that someday, when we need it, we have it,” MacKay says.

MacKay Manufacturing primarily manufactures tools and instruments for use in the health care and aerospace industries. 

MacKay says the company currently employs 170 people; it’s added about 30 employees since 2017.

“All the construction stuff we’re doing is very much proactive, versus reactive,” MacKay says. “We’re looking at what we’ll need in two, three, five years.”

MacKay says the company bought the 4,000-square-foot former Patriot Fire Protection building next door, at 10005 E. Montgomery, last year. MacKay has gutted the building down to its shell in preparation for remodeling work, which will be completed by Hayden-based American Construction Group. Renovations will include plumbing and electrical work, as well as installing heated sidewalks between the former Patriot building and MacKay’s main manufacturing building.

Renovations to the former Patriot building will cost about $700,000, and should be completed in November, MacKay says. A 1,000-square-foot mezzanine is included in plans for the building, she says.

MacKay says the building will accommodate the company’s receiving department, as well as its saw department. Much of the structure will be dedicated to storage of materials.

“Where we’re making flight critical and surgical instruments,” MacKay says. “There’s way better inventory control in a locked building all by itself.”

MacKay is in the process of buying a one-acre parcel of land at 9908 E. Jackson, to the northwest of the company’s growing campus. The property is currently occupied by a mechanic business, MacKay says. She says MacKay doesn’t have immediate plans for the site and is allowing the commercial tenant to remain.

At MacKay’s main building, a $150,000 mezzanine has added segregated workspaces for different departments, as well as storage space. Spokane-based Garco Construction completed the concrete mezzanine.

“We’re essentially adding a second story to move some of the non-machining aspects of manufacturing into the mezzanine to open up the shop floor space for machines,” MacKay says. “We poured that second level with concrete and structured it so we can put some equipment upstairs if needed.”

The mezzanine has created enough space on the main shop floor for up to an additional eight machines, MacKay says.

“That’s always the premium—floor space for machines,” MacKay says.

Gabe Compton, MacKay Manufacturing’s continuous improvement manager, says the mezzanine means MacKay Manufacturing now has about 6,500 square feet on the ground floor in its main building.

Compton says he expects the mezzanine level will be occupied by the end of October.

About 12 miles east of MacKay Manufacturing, just west of the Washington-Idaho state boundary, prestress concrete manufacturer Knife River Corp. has nearly completed its $40 million new facility. Blake Johnson, commercial director for Knife River, says the 188,000-square-foot facility is expected to be in operation by year-end.

“We’ll have the ability to effectively double our workforce and our production capacity,” Johnson says.

About 70 people work at Knife River’s original location in Spokane Valley, formerly owned by Oldcastle Precast, at 922 N. Carnahan. Johnson says Knife River began searching for a new location for the prestress concrete manufacturing operations as soon as it bought Oldcastle in early 2020.

“We did a pretty thorough review of industrial properties throughout the greater Spokane and northern Idaho area,” Johnson says. “At the end of the day, we felt that staying in Washington was important for our team members.”

Johnson says the new facility also fulfills Knife River’s environmental sustainability goals.

“We’ve reduced all of the diesel-powered delivery systems we had with new automated bucket delivery of our concrete,” Johnson says. “The site is a zero-discharge facility, so we’re treating all of our water in our processes. The building is able to be outfitted with solar panels in the future.”

Virginia Thomas
  • Virginia Thomas

  • Email Virginia Thomas
  • Follow RSS feed for Virginia Thomas

Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the health care industry. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys traveling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

Read More

Sign up for our E-mail updates

including the
Morning Edition

Join our list