Spokane Valley Mall developer JP Realty will break ground on the long-anticipated project April 18, the company announced Friday.
Phil Vice, corporate marketing director for JP Realty, said the company will hold a groundbreaking ceremony that day, followed by a presentation of mall plans to the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce on April 19.
The announcement is the latest in a string of developments that have brought the project north of Interstate 90 on Sullivan Road from dormancy to reality. It was first announced in 1990, but little progress was made until mid-1995.
The company announced last July that The Bon Marche would anchor the project. In October, mall plans were sent to the Valley Fire District for a preliminary safety inspection. Those plans also showed anchor spaces for Sears and J.C. Penney. In early November, JP Realty picked up county building permits.
JP Realty previously announced the mall will open in August 1997. Vice said he couldn’t update the development timetable.
The mall could dramatically change the retail landscape, with NorthTown Mall and the downtown core facing a new competitor to the east. Some Valley businesses will benefit, said chamber Executive Director Ray Murphy, but others could face a challenge.
“If you’re U-City mall, you gotta be concerned,” he said.
Although the short-term effects could be painful, Murphy said, “the macro view of this thing is very positive for the Valley.” The 100-store mall should be big enough to attract shoppers from all over the Spokane area.
“So anybody (in the Valley) that relies on retail trade should see more people,” Murphy said. The trick for small businesses is finding ways to get commuters to stop while they’re in the area, he said.
Progress on the Valley mall also reduces the odds of one being built in Post Falls, as was once proposed. “If we had to pick between (a mall opening) in Post Falls or here, we’re glad it’s this one,” Murphy said.