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Posts tagged: Chris Bell

How Walt Worthy made it easier for INHS to get into the Wells Fargo Tower

Friday's major downtown Spokane business story was the culmination of two building takeovers: the 17-story Wells Fargo Tower and the six-level Holley Mason Building. Both buildings gained new owners.

The bigger deal was the acquistion of the rest of the Wells Fargo Building by INHS, the nonprofit medical services provider that was originally hatched as a jointly supervised organization serving both Empire Health Services and Providence Health (Sacred Heart).

On Friday INHS took over the last 74 percent of the Wells Fargo Building. In 2009 it had acquired 26 percent of the building.

Now for some history: Walt Worthy, who bought the tower from the ashes of Metropolitan Mortgage and Securiities in 2005, made it easy for INHS to get into a good lease at a time when INHS was struggling to find adequate downtown office space.

In 2005 INHS was working out of two buildings, the Holley Mason and the Steamplant. But it needed more room as it continued to grow.

That year Worthy — who also owns the downtown Davenport Hotel — helped form a condo association for tenants of the Wells Fargo. During that process INHS agreed to a long-term lease that let INHS move in to the tower. 

That lease was signed just before Worthy sold the building to Prium Spokane Buildings, a Tacoma-based developer. The lease included an INHS option to purchase the leased premises which covered about five floors of the entire building.

Three years later, when the option came up, INHS paid $9.4 million to Prium for the portion of the building it was leasing.

Last week's credit bid, in which INHS took over the remainder from Prium, was brokered by NAI Black's Chris Bell. The price was about $16 million.
  

Wells Fargo Building goes to INHS in foreclosure sale after Prium bankruptcy; Holley Mason also sold

Two of Spokane’s well-known but cash-strapped buildings concluded foreclosure sales Friday, shutting the file on separate cases of large commercial properties falling victim to a distressed real estate market.

The 17-story Wells Fargo Tower at 601 W. First and the six-level Holley Mason Building at 157 S. Howard both formally changed hands, culminating bank repossessions after the previous owners were unable to pay off loans.

Spokane’s Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) took over about three-fourths of the Wells Fargo building; in 2009 it acquired roughly one-fourth of the building when previous owner Prium Spokane Buildings LLC sold that space for $9.4 million.

At Friday’s sale INHS officially took over the remainder of Prium’s 184,000-square-foot tower for roughly $16.1 million, said John Craig, INHS chief financial officer. Prium, based in Tacoma, did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Chris Bell, of NAI Black, represented INHS in the deal.

INHS has about 1,000 employees across the region, with 350 to 400 working in the Wells Fargo building.

Prium bought the building from Spokane developer Walt Worthy for $25 million in 2006. The bank that ended up with the mortgage was Spokane-based Sterling Savings.

Prium Spokane Buildings, a division of Tacoma-based Prium Companies, filed for bankruptcy in late 2010.

INHS is an independent medical services provider that works with area hospitals and providers as well as running the St. Luke’s Rehab Center and other services. It was formed in 1994.

Craig said the INHS board has no plans to sell the Wells Fargo building or portions of it in the near future. Since 2006 INHS has been using the building and is its current largest tenant.

The second largest tenant is Wells Fargo Bank, said Craig. He said Wells Fargo has a naming-rights provision, meaning there will be no change in the building’s name.

The Wells Fargo Tower was originally the Farm Credit Bank Building, constructed in the early 1980s.

In 1998 Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities CEO Paul Sandifur bought the bank building for $11.7 million and used it for his company’s base of operations. The once-high flying company stayed there until mounting debt and angry investors forced Metropolitan to file for bankruptcy in 2004.

A year later Spokane developer Walt Worthy bought the building and renamed it the Wells Fargo Tower after signing Wells Fargo as the anchor tenant.

In addition to the sale of the Wells Fargo, Worthy had a previous Spokane deal with Prium. In 2005 he sold the Rock Pointe Commercial Center north of downtown to Prium for roughly $82 million.

While still in bankruptcy, creditors and Prium continue to wrangle over the Rock Pointe assets, looking for a buyer who would want some or all of the distressed assets of that set of three commercial buildings

Camping World will open RV equipment store in Liberty Lake

The former Mastercraft building in Liberty Lake has been acquired for a new Camping World store, according to the company that brokered the deal.

Camping World, based in Bowling Green, Ky., is one of the nation's bigger sellers of RV equipment, camping equipment and RV merchandise. It's taking over the building used by Mastercraft as its main area showroom and dealership for a line of power boats.

The address is 19651 E. Cataldo.

Camping World will lease the 10,800-square foot facility from Oppidan Investment, a Minnesota firm that will be the project developer. Oppidan paid about $1.8 million for the building, said Chris Bell of NAI Black. Bell represented the seller, Wayne Sorensen, in the transaction. 

This will be the first store operated by Camping World in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area. The company has more than 75 stores in more than 30 states.

Oppidan is expected to begin tenant improvements later this month.

Servatron moving from Sullivan Road location to Mirabeau building built by Itronix

After a bumpy 2010 and 2011, Spokane Valley contract manufacturing firm Servatron Inc. hopes to boost annual sales to the $30 million mark, in part by moving to a newer building this spring.

The company will move into about 50,000 square feet of the former Itronix building at 12825 E. Mirabeau Parkway. It’s been at its current site, near the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, since 2000 when it was spun out of Itron as a specialty contract manufacturer.

Company President Tod Byers said that privately held Servatron hasn’t had a loss during its 12 years in business. But its current building — roughly the same size as the Mirabeau facility — has fewer advantages than the new site, Byers said.

“The new location just shows better,” Byers said. Winning new contracts depends in part on good impressions when prospective customers make visits to Spokane. Itronix, which made rugged computers, occupied the building from 2005 to 2009.

Servatron expects to move in by the end of March.

Servatron’s headcount is about 190, down some from 230 in the peak years in 2007 and 2008.

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