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Posts tagged: Spokane WSU

Can Spokane’s city council delay or halt the Jensen-Byrd building demolition?

Spokane's City Council is likely next week to vote on a resolution about the Jensen-Byrd Building, being sold by WSU to a Texas firm, Campus Advantage.

The old building, once a central warehouse along the city's main rail yard, has become a cherished icon for historic preservation advocates. They view the plan by Campus Advantage to demolish the building as short-sighted. 

Campus Advantage has said it has looked at restoring the building but has concluded the structure is not easily and affordably convertible to a modern student housing complex, which is the plan for the Jensen-Byrd.

While the council is free to pass any resolution it wants, it doesn't have final say on what happens. According to the city's laws, Campus Advantage can apply for a demolition permit if its shows it will build a similar building in the same  spot. 

The request by Campus Advantage to move forward with demolition would have to go through the city's building department.

The council's resolution, as currently worded, urges WSU and Campus Advantage to reconsider the plan and look for ways to either build a high-density student apartment complex elsewhere. Or review the demolition option.

Care to tweet reactions to WSU’s sale of the Jensen-Byrd building?

@SR_Officehours is asking Twitter users to respond to the question:  What do you think of the Jensen-Byrd building sale by WSU to a company that will tear the building down? We'd like to hear your comments or thoughts, in 140 characters or less.

Tweet messages or RTs, and the Tweetstream embedded here should collect all those messages.  Thanks. If you can, use the hashtag #Jensen-Byrd

How many jobs will the demolition of the Jensen-Byrd building create?

So, if you read some of the reader comments found on Thursday's Spokesman.com story about Campus Advantage tearing down the Jensen-Byrd building, you may have wondered how many jobs comes out of this development.

The story in a nutshell: many folks regard the 1909 Jensen-Byrd building a major piece of Spokane history. But WSU has agreed to sell it to the Texas company, who will tear it down and replace it with a five-story student apartment complext catering to Riverpoint Campus students and those from nearby Gonzaga University.

How many jobs will the Campus Advantage project create?  Simple answer, not that many. Reader comments on Spokesman.com were all over the map on that question.

We can't say how many demolition and construction jobs will come from the effort; the Austin-based firm said it will rely on local contractors but it hasn't even closed the sale yet.

Longer-term, once it opens in fall 2013, the new building will likely hire about 5 fulltime and 5 part-time workers, said Campus Advantage Executive VP Scott Duckett.

Texas firm will raze Jensen-Byrd building, plans 125 units in new structure

The company that's buying the old 1909 Jensen-Byrd building in downtown Spokane has decided it will raze the structure rather than convert it.

Austin-based Campus Advantage paid $2.85 million to Washington State University for the buidling, which is roughly 136,000 square feet on land on the east end of downtown Spokane.

The plan is to demolish the old building and replace it with a five-story student apartment complex with  425 beds  in two- and four-bedroom units with shared bathrooms and shared common areas.
 
Scott Duckett, a vice president with Campus Advantage, said the goal originally was to save the building — which is not on the Spokane or the federal historic register.
But the interior components and other issues made that conversion too expensive, he said.
 
The company company plans to break ground in summer 2012 to meet an occupancy date of fall 2013. Its release can be found here
 
Notably, WSU officials earlier this year turned down a similar offer with the same pricetage by Spokane developer Ron Wells.  A story outlining the reasons WSU didn't select Wells' project will be in Thursday's edition of The Spokesman-Review and on Spokesman.com.

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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 spokesman.com 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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