January 27, 2005 in Business

Worthy buys bank building

By The Spokesman-Review
 

After signing Wells Fargo as the anchor tenant for his 17-story office tower in downtown Spokane, Davenport Hotel owner Walt Worthy is buying the financial institution’s soon-to-be former building.

Wells Fargo plans to move out of its eight-story building on the northeast corner of Riverside and Howard by mid-2005. The bank will move into 34,000 square feet of leased space in the former Metropolitan Financial Center, which Worthy bought last summer. That building, at 601 W. First Ave., will be renamed the Wells Fargo Center and will become the new Spokane headquarters for the San Francisco-based bank.

Worthy’s purchase of Wells Fargo’s building is expected to close today or Friday, he and bank officials said. Neither party would disclose the purchase price. However, the 62,000-square-foot building and the land it sits on are assessed at $3.3 million, according to the Spokane County Assessor’s Office.

“I thought it was a good deal,” Worthy said Wednesday. “It’s about as prominent a location as you could want, and the building’s in reasonably good shape.”

The building was constructed in 1952 and has previously been called the Fidelity Building and the First Interstate Bank Building. It has 47,000 square feet of space above ground and a 15,000-square-foot basement, according to the assessor’s office.

Worthy said he’ll upgrade the building after the bank moves and will lease it out as office space. Worthy plans to install new windows and resurface the exterior. He also plans to rename it, but hasn’t decided what to call it. New names are frequently tied to anchor tenants, and Worthy said he has not secured one yet, but does have a business in mind.

“We’d like to attract a bank,” he said. “It’s a bank now, and there’s a vault there. It’s a good location for a bank to locate.”

Other parties were interested in buying the building, but Worthy offered the best overall deal, said Don Young, Eastern Washington community banking president for Wells Fargo. The bank plans to lease its space back from Worthy until its operations are moved.


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