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Office Hours

Thu., May 3, 2012, 4:52 p.m.

McKinstry’s downtown building will start adding companies in its innovation center

If you haven't had a chance to visit the renovated McKinstry Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad building, you ought to find the time.

The company, with headquarters in Seattle, has a corps of about 100 workers in the Spokane area. Last fall it finished a $20 million renovation of the former electric railway maintenance and repair depot, on Spokane Falls Blvd. east of downtown and across from Gonzaga University.

Today's story on the business pages highlighted plans by McKinstry to set aside about 38,000 square feet of the building for an innovation center. The center will open its doors in August, and become a gathering spot-incubator for companies that are looking to accelerate their growth.

At least four companies will move in, come August, said McKinstry VP Tony Stewart. He projected about two dozen tenant companies will eventually fill up the innovation center.

A large portion of the McKinstry building is designed for open space -- which is not easy to illustrate, given the unusual configuration of the building. We ran a story last year on the building, with a video, and those images still didn't capture the appealing and deceptively welcoming nature of the interior design.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.