Office Hours

Jensen Byrd building not likely to be demolished until next year

The Jensen-Byrd building in the University District east of downtown Spokane will be demolished by its new owners, Austin, Texas-based Campus Advantage. The company plans to build housing for about 425 students on the site. (File)
The Jensen-Byrd building in the University District east of downtown Spokane will be demolished by its new owners, Austin, Texas-based Campus Advantage. The company plans to build housing for about 425 students on the site. (File)

When we last left the Jensen-Byrd saga, the historical preservationists were forming a posse, trying to figure out a way to hijack the former downtown Spokane warehouse and hide it somewhere on the Palouse, to keep it from being torn down.

The Texas-based company that wants to tear it down, Campus Advantage, was trying to obtain the needed certificates to move forward with a slow-motion, brick-by-brick demolition. They intend to replace the JB with a modern student housing structure designed for the 21st century.

And how will it play out? 

It appears it's going nowhere for now. A recent WSU Spokane Bulletin says the building (not yet deemed a historic building) is on life support for about a year. Barb Chamberlain, who works for WSU, is the author of the bulletin item saying the sale won't close until 2013, citing the WSU Real Estate Office.

Chamberlain said the original deal is being held up because of extended timelines to obtain permits. 

If all the permits come together and Campus Advantage hasn't moved onto something else, the plan is to break ground next year and move students in in 2014. The goal, according to the buyer, is to house about 460 residents in the new building.




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





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