February 8, 2008 in Business

Here’s the dirt: Lincoln Plaza nearly full

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Photos by Jesse Tinsley photo

Steve Smith Jr., left, and Mike Link of Goebel Construction fit decorative panels on the reception desk in the office suite being prepared for Evans, Craven and Lackey in the Lincoln Building in downtown Spokane on Thursday.
(Full-size photo)

One of downtown Spokane’s distinctive office buildings is almost entirely leased after being less than half-full in 2006. The eight-story Lincoln Plaza, at Lincoln Street and Riverside Avenue, is about 95 percent leased, said Tom Barbieri, president of property manager Goodale & Barbieri Co.

Insurance and financial firm Moloney+O’Neill plans to remodel the top two floors, while a branch of discount stock brokerage Charles Schwab is slated to occupy part of the building’s street-level space.

Tenants of Lincoln Plaza and the adjacent Grant Building, which is being remodeled, could bring 200 new employees to that part of downtown, Barbieri said.

Barbieri is owner and manager of building owner Lincoln Plaza LLC, in which some principals of Moloney+O’Neill are investors, he said. The building was purchased from a subsidiary of Red Lion Hotels Corp. for $13.3 million in September, public records show.

Garco Construction Inc. will handle overhaul of about 25,000 square feet for Moloney+O’Neill, renovations that will cost at least $1.2 million, Barbieri said. The company, which employs more than 90, currently is located north of the Spokane Arena.

Demolition on the top floors has started, and the firm is slated to move about half of its employees in June 1. Charles Schwab expects to move in around mid-April, said Kathy Anson, vice president and branch manager. Located down the street in the Bank of America Financial Center, the branch employs eight.

Goodale & Barbieri recently moved its 34 employees to the plaza. Other new tenants include mortgage broker Indymac Bank and law firm Solan, Milhem & Hertel.

Owners still would like to see a café with outdoor seating on the building’s south plaza, Barbieri said. Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli last summer announced it planned to open an outlet at the plaza, but owners are talking with other operators, he said.

Recent renovations updated the building’s mechanical systems, elevators, common areas and façade, including rooftop lights that were illuminated red and green during the holidays.

Space in the building rents for $20 a square foot for offices and $25 for retail, Barbieri said.

Planned townhouses to get ‘green’ tops

A Spokane newcomer plans to build two South Hill townhouses with landscaping in an unusual place: the structures’ roofs.

Sev Jones envisions using native, drought-resistant vegetation to provide wildlife habitat and reduce rainwater runoff from the structures, to be built at 331 E. 11th Ave.. He also would include useable areas for barbecuing.

“You’re not going to find a blade of grass on the entire site,” said Jones, a land-use planning consultant and former city planner in Anchorage and Boise.

Jones wants to provide “dense urban development, but also allowing for the amenities that make a typical subdivision pleasurable,” he said.

“Probably one of the biggest things is having a little space, and what better place than on the rooftop?” he said.

The “green roof” concept is more popular in larger cities. The remodeled Saranac Building in downtown Spokane sports rooftop vegetation, but a 2002 proposal by then-Spokane Mayor John Powers to put a garden atop City Hall was shot down.

Jones, who bought the 4,500-square-foot parcel with a Seattle artist, also wants to incorporate a roughly 15-foot-tall basalt rock on the property’s western side by making it a water feature outside a large window. He foresees using pervious concrete for the driveway, allowing it to absorb water.

The two-story units would be about 1,500 square feet each and include basement parking. They would be priced at about $300,000 and geared toward young professionals, including medical staff at nearby Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Jones expects to begin construction on the roughly $400,000 project this spring.

WinCo buys old HomeBase building

Warehouse-style grocery store chain WinCo Foods LLC has purchased property for another Spokane-area store, said Tom Hix, senior vice president of NAI Black.

The Boise-based company bought the 100,100-square- foot former HomeBase building, 9724 E. Sprague Ave., and two adjacent, smaller properties, Hix said. The chain last summer announced plans for a 94,642-square-foot store on North Nevada Street.

Hix said WinCo likely would revamp the HomeBase building for a store. WinCo representatives could not be reached for comment.

Office building planned near Gonzaga

A Spokane company intends to build a three-story, roughly 36,000-square-foot building for office and retail just east of Gonzaga University.

Developer LLC & M LLC would start the building process as soon as leasing agent Byrd Real Estate Group finds tenants for some of the office space, said Greg Byrd, group president. Called Hamilton Square, it would be on part of the 1000 block of North Hamilton, said Byrd, also manager of LLC & M.

“The demographics are there, and improving all the time with what’s happening down at Gonzaga University and Sirti,” Byrd said. “It’s just an excellent location with easy freeway access and easy downtown access.”

He declined to disclose an estimated price, but said it would be a multimillion-dollar project.


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