Posts tagged: WSU
Spokane city commercial construction got on a major role in 2012, according to records kept by the city and outside data companies.
The volume of commercial construction last year nearly doubled the volume of the generally weak performance of 2011.
Today's business section story laid out the major points. Here's the top 10 graphs. Go to the story link for the full take.
Spokane’s commercial construction spending rebounded in 2012 because of several large government and hospital projects that brought year-end totals to levels not seen since 2006.
Area construction companies took out permits for $362 million in commercial projects in Spokane County last year. That’s up sharply from the $288 million in commercial jobs in the county in 2011 and $246 million in 2010.
“Things are better for sure in commercial construction,” said Bob Askins, vice president of Shea Graham Construction, based in Spokane Valley. “But the 2011 numbers as a baseline were pretty low. Even so, things are getting better.”
Graham Construction had two of the bigger commercial projects of 2012: the large Biomedical and Health Sciences Building on the WSU Spokane campus and a series of renovations at Deaconess Hospital.
Those two projects, and expansion of Sacred Heart’s emergency room building, helped account for the surge in commercial projects last year inside Spokane’s city limits.
The city in 2012 accounted for $248 million, or 68 percent of all commercial projects within Spokane County. The numbers are based on building permit estimated costs.
The city’s 2012 commercial total is roughly double the $125 million for projects during 201
Private projects generally account for 70 percent to 77 percent of all construction in Spokane County, if private colleges and hospitals are included in the category.
Last year private commercial projects accounted for close to 78 percent, according to Construction Monitor, a national data aggregator.
Those folks who battled to save the old and historic Jensen Byrd Building had their main victory last month when Campus Advantage decided to fold up and dropped plans to tear the building down. The company had signed an agreement in late 2010 with WSU to tear down the brick building and replace it with a multistory campus housing structure.
This week the next shoe fell, even though few “heard” the impact.
On Tuesday the City of Spokane officially concluded the process of revoking the demolition permit that had been issued to a demo firm hired by Texas-based Campus Advantage. The initial plans to tear down the building might have started as early as this past summer if opponents hadn't filed appeals challenging the validity of the demo permit.
The revocation at this point is mostly a symbolic moment; since Campus Advantage had already backed out of the deal.
But there was still some time left for the parties involved, including WSU, to appeal the city's permit revocation. That deadline for the revocation appeal was Oct. 10.
In any event, the status of the old warehouse building near downtown is this: WSU still owns it. WSU has the right to sell it to anyone, and even decide to demolish it if it wants to (with some conditions attached).
As of last month, WSU's position was holding pat and waiting. Spokane developer Ron Wells has continued trying to convince WSU officials that he has a viable development plan, that would include commercial and residential units.
Washington State University regents will be asked next month to approve the plans for $80 million worth of improvements to Martin Stadium, with a portion of the money to come from the Pacific-12’s new television contract that dramatically increased revenues to each team.
The regents will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to review plans for the privately-funded stadium project, which includes a larger press box structure filled with luxury seating. Regents will be asked at their Nov. 18 meeting to give final approval to the project.
Construction would begin on Nov. 21, with the project scheduled for completion next season, reports The Associated Press.
Washington State University regents Friday endorsed designation of the Spokane campus as the university’s center for health sciences education, and backed that step by putting a $70.78 million Biomedical/Health Sciences building at the top of their capital request to the legislature.
Supporters say the building would become the anchor of a a four-year medical school, and associated nursing and pharmacy programs already in place on the Riverpoint Campus.
“We have an opportunity to lead the way into the future of health care with a new campus and a new culture of collaboration,” said WSU Spokane Chancellor Brian Pitcher.
The campus, says the proclamation, could become “America’s next great academic health science center.”
You can pretty much count on two consumer impacts from the recent new sales taxes imposed by Washington’s legislators, says Jeffrey LaFrance, a Washington State University professor.
So-called “sugar taxes” imposed on candy and gum will hardly change the consumption of Washington’s sweeth tooth community, said LaFrance, who is professor of agricultural and resource economics in Pullman.
That’s because the sales taxes on candy and gum are not large enough to force consumers to change their spending habits.
But the state’s new $1 a tax increase on packs of cigarettes will certainly lead to a notable decline in overall sales, said LaFrance.
Cigarettes are “unit elastic,” he explained. That means if cigarettes pre-tax were $6 a pack, the added tax of $1 will have a like size negative impact on demand. So $1 is roughly 16 percent of $6, and LaFrance said the impact should be about a 16 percent decline in cigarettes bought in the state.
Digilent Inc., a Pullman company started by a Washington State University faculty member, was named small manufacturer of the year by Seattle Business magazine.
Clint Cole, a lecturer at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, founded Digilent in 2000 to manufacture and market circuit boards for educational purposes, according to a WSU news release.
Working with a former student, Gene Apperson, Cole has designed more than 200 products, the release said. The company has 45 employees.
Read more about the company at www.seattlebusinessmag.com
A hotel and convention center could be built on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, if negotiations between a California developer and the university are successful.
WSU’s board of regents approved a plan Friday to begin negotiations with Sonnenblick-Del Rio Development for the sale of 7.5 acres of WSU property, according to a news release. The Brentwood, Calif., company wants to build a 125-room Hilton hotel and 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot convention center on the site, which is at the northeast end of campus, east of the Student Recreation Center.