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Posts tagged: McKinstry

Inside McKinstry’s building: a video tour of the 1907 electric train repair depot


In addition to the story we ran this week, plus a great slideshow by SR photographer Jesse Tinsley, we produced a quick two-minute video tour of the renovated McKinstry building along the Spokane River.

Colin Mulvany provided additional production tweaking to this video.

McKinstry renovates downtown historic railroad repair building

This is the first third of our SR business story running tomorrow at

Along with it will be a photo slideshow by Jesse Tinsley (whose shot is featured here), and a video. The print version will appear in Friday's daily editions of The Spokesman-Review.

Several years ago, Dean Allen was driving around Spokane, in search of a site for a company office. He spotted an aging brick building along the banks of the Spokane River just east of downtown, and he decided it had potential.

Allen, the CEO of Seattle-based McKinstry, now says that large building, built in 1907 and originally used as a railroad repair depot, was the best possible choice. It brought together about 90 workers inside a historic building that Allen hopes will become a gathering spot for other creative, innovative companies and startups.

McKinstry, which designs, builds and manages other companies’ properties, has several offices across the Western United States. The firm has operated in Spokane for about 10 years.

But for Allen and others, McKinstry's restored Spokane building is the plum and perfect example of the company’s core values of innovation and historic preservation. The company didn't take the cheap route; they invested more than $20 million in the project.

Inside the Great Northern Building restoration (hats off to McKinstry)

Lost in the hubbub about Apple and Trader Joe's coming to town is the bigger news that the McKinstry company, a high-end facilities management and design-build firm, bought and is renovating the historic Great Northern Building, on the east edge of downtown Spokane.

In the past few days we got a chance to get a view of what's happening inside and outside the building. The building is on the national historic register; it was originally the repair depot for the first electric railway system that operated between downtown and Liberty Lake and points east.

This cell-phone photo shows “car barn 2” inside the Great Northern Building, which sits between the Habitat building on Trent and the Spokane River. The view is toward the south and toward the Spokane River.

The original wood ceilings and brick walls have been cleaned up and are used as key features in the building plan.

The McKinstry offices will be on the left side of the barn. Some other spaces will be available to lease to commercial tenants.

A permit pulled by McKinstry estimates the cost of restoring the building will approach $10 million.

McKinstry finds a way to restore early Spokane railway history

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If you have a passion for Spokane railroad history, you’ll celebrate recent plans by a Seattle firm to restore one of the area’s historic train sites.

Seattle energy-efficiency building company, McKinstry, has bought the early 1900s-era electric train shop and yards once used by a railway that ran from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene.

The address of the new McKinstry Spokane office is 802 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., south of Gonzaga inside the University District. Notably, it will call the office the Great Northern Building.

McKinstry has about 50 workers in Spokane now, with roughly 1,600 overall at various locations.

A press release from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) praised the company’s plan to grow its Spokane location. The firm focuses on building, designing and managing more energy efficient buildings.

The 1900s-era building McKinstry is converting was the shop and train yards of the Inland Empire Railroad Co. which operated until 1919. It became the Spokane and Eastern Railroad Co. That later became the Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad.

In 1929 the railway was taken over by the Great Northern Railroad.


McKinstry buys Itron’s enterprise energy management software group

Seattle-based McKinstry, a major company in the design, build and management of energy efficient facilities, said it’s purchased the Enterprise Energy Management Suite of software services from Spokane’s Itron Inc.

The goal is using the technology to help integrate smart-grid planning into the other services McKinstry offers, the company CEO, Dean Allen, said in a release.

The Web-based EEM Suite is described as an integrating software platform that collects utility-related data (billing, energy use, times of highest consumption) so that owners and managers can better plan water and energy use. No sales price was disclosed.

McKinstry has an office in Spokane.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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