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Investors to buy part of Ridpath

A group of Spokane investors has agreed to buy part of the Ridpath Hotel complex in downtown Spokane from Red Lion Hotels Corp.

Though the sale hasn’t closed, the deal will transfer ownership of the Executive Court building that fronts First Avenue, south of the main hotel tower. The building includes 77 guest rooms, a convention center, a swimming pool and underground parking.

A sale price was not released. But the sale of the building, along with the separate sale of a Red Lion Hotel in Yakima, is expected to fetch about $7.8 million for Spokane-based Red Lion Hotels, formerly WestCoast Hospitality.

The new owners, including Dave Black, CEO of Tomlinson Black Commercial, plan to remake the building into residential, retail and office space.

“I will say that what we’re doing is going to be very, very cool,” Black said, adding that more information would be forthcoming when the deal closes, which is expected by early 2006.

Along with Black, the buyers include Grant Person of Tomlinson Black; Greg Jeffreys, owner of GJ General Contractors in Spokane; and Scott Taylor, owner of a Phoenix, Ariz. apartment building business called Mark-Taylor Inc.

The sale is part of Red Lion’s strategy to sell some properties and plow the money into renovating its core holdings, such as Red Lion Templin’s Hotel on the River in Post Falls and the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in downtown Spokane, said Julie Langenheim, the company’s manager of investor relations.

Red Lion still plans to sell the tower portion of the Ridpath. It has been listed for about a year.