January 4, 2006 in Business

Spokane embraces new condos

By The Spokesman-Review
Wells and Co. photo

This view of the planned Carnegie Square Townhouses is from Adams Street, looking west. The 10 condominiums are divided up into two buildings, with five in each. The three-story condominiums look out over First, Sprague and Adams, with access into garages and a courtyard from all three streets.
(Full-size photo)

Construction hasn’t begun yet on 10 townhouses Spokane developer Ron Wells plans to build on an old city fire station site in Carnegie Square, but half have already been sold at prices starting around $500,000.

Wells said he is ready to begin construction as soon as his city permit is issued. The permit plans should be submitted by Jan. 20, he said. The former Spokane fire station was demolished last week and the ground has been leveled. Wells said he anticipates the first few units will be ready for occupancy by summer.

The 10 vertical townhouses will fill the half-block on Adams Street between Sprague and First avenues. Wells bought the property from the city in April for $500,005. The Carnegie Square Townhouses will range in size from 1,900 square feet to 3,100 square feet and in price from $492,000 to $750,000.

Each three-story unit will have a ground-floor, two-car garage. They will be designed in such a way to provide space on the first floors for home offices. The townhouses will face out onto the three streets, which will provide access to garages. There will be a courtyard and shared driveway down the center, with access from Adams, in a layout similar to the design of Wells’ Riverside Court condominiums, just a block away to the north.

“Everyone we’re selling them to is a local Spokane person who just wants to live downtown,” Wells said. “It’s Spokane people for the most part.”

Wells’ original proposal for the site was a seven-story condominium tower with ground floor retail, parking and 41 residential units above. His bid for the property beat out two other development teams who suggested similar uses. However, preliminary cost estimates for the two levels of parking came in more than $1 million more than estimated so Wells changed his plans.

The city sold the old fire station property to offset the $2.5 million cost of building a new, larger one a few blocks to the west.

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