November 3, 2006 in City

Developer plans condo towers on YWCA’s Spokane River site

Staff writer
 

SRM Development LLC is in the early phases of planning for two condo towers on the YWCA property on the north side of the Spokane River near downtown Spokane, one block west of the Flour Mill.

Dave Guthrie, development manager for the Spokane-based company, said the details are still evolving for the scope of the project, but he expects the final price tag to be in excess of $100 million.

“We’re in the process of walking through the various components,” Guthrie said.

The towers could be as tall as 150 feet, as allowed by city code, and include about 100 condos each. Buildings would incorporate some brickwork, to blend with surrounding structures such as the Flour Mill. Retail or office space may be included inside the towers, he said, or outside in separate buildings.

Buildings would be developed on 2.26 acres currently owned by the YWCA. Guthrie said SRM has the right to acquire the property for about $4 million.The YWCA has purchased the 3.5-acre Big Brothers Big Sisters Bingo property on North Monroe for a new facility, which it plans to share with the YMCA.

SRM’s project is a block from the Upper Falls condominiums, a 32-unit complex being built by River Run Ventures LLC, which includes local businessman Don Barbieri.Those units start at about $500,000.

The size and price of the units to be built on the YWCA site have yet to be determined; however, Guthrie said that SRM has researched the demand for condos, and because of the high construction cost and value of the land, the project will be upper-end.

“The prices wouldn’t be any different than higher-end condo projects we’ve seen in downtown Spokane,” Guthrie said.

Guthrie hopes to work with the city of Spokane to connect the project with a section of the Centennial Trail and develop a public observation deck for those who want to view the Spokane River.

The developer had one informal meeting with the city, Guthriesaid, and SRM expects to present pre-development plans by the end of November.

Leroy Eadie, current planning manager for Spokane, said because of its proximity to the river, the project would require a shoreline conditional use permit. Once an application is received, it’s reviewed by the Washington state Department of Ecology, the city and a hearing examiner.

It typically takes 90 to 120 days for approval, if there aren’t a lot of issues, Eadie said.

KMA, an architectural and engineering company in San Diego, has worked on the early planning for the two-tower complex. The California firm got ahead of the project when it recently sent out a news release to some local media that contained details based on plans that haven’t been finalized, Guthrie said, adding, “They kind of put the cart before the horse.”

SRM will hire another architect to do the final drawings, which will include layout and design for the interior units. Towers would take about 18 to 22 months each to build, he said, and would be developed separately.


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