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Here’s the dirt: Movin’ on up to 22nd floor

FRIDAY, FEB. 22, 2008

One of Spokane’s prominent attorneys soon will have a penthouse office in one of the city’s tallest buildings.

Mary Schultz plans to move her practice into the Davenport Hotel Tower’s 22nd floor next week. For Schultz, who travels for work with out-of-town clients, working in the safari-themed tower will be like “coming home,” and taking a permanent vacation.

Schultz started her legal practice in developer Walt Worthy’s Rock Pointe office complex. For about 10 years, she’s been in the Lincoln Building on Riverside Avenue.

Now, she’s scaled back her staff and seeks to take a larger role in cases.

“When the opportunity arose at the tower, that was that,” Schultz said. “It’s the best space in town. We’ve designed and built from scratch. It’s all about downsizing and upgrading.”

So how much does it cost for a panoramic view from the penthouse, valet parking and access to the tower’s spa and fitness areas?

Worthy Enterprises lets space there for $28 to $30 a square foot, plus a 3 percent escalation annually. The average “Class A” office space in downtown Spokane cost about $20 per square foot, as of October.

Renamed Mary Schultz Law PS, the new office is expected to open March 3. The practice also employs two associate attorneys and three staff members. The lease allows Jörg, Schultz’s German shepherd, to visit the office.

The practice also receives access to 24-hour room service and discounts on rooms for clients. Inside the 2,645-square-foot office, dark wood blinds accent the bare, beige walls lined with amber sconces.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Schultz, surveying the view from the broad windows of her office on the tower’s southwest corner. “Basically, this is kind of rebooting my karma.”

Worthy Enterprises is negotiating with other tenants for the roughly 7,700 square feet of space remaining, said Jack Marr, leasing agent. Worthy originally had considered making condos.

“I think Walt wanted to do it because there’s nothing that upscale here in Spokane,” Marr said. “It’s kind of neat being in a hotel building where you have restaurants and bars and everything else.”

This isn’t the first time Schultz has made a distinctive office.

Her office on the Lincoln Building’s eighth floor once housed the males-only Empire Club – an irony not lost on Schultz.

In 2003, she won a $4 million verdict in a gender-discrimination lawsuit against San Francisco-based ABM Industries Inc., now a multi-billion-dollar company. In addition to taking on more civil rights cases, she works for ABM under a multi-year contract as its “champion for change,” addressing the “potential systemic issues within that company that resulted in discrimination.”

Montvale for sale, Havermale remodels planned

The historic Montvale Hotel in downtown Spokane is on the market for $5.1 million.

But developer Rob Brewster, managing member of building owner Montvale Hotel LLC, cautioned the sale is just a possibility. He probably would use proceeds from the sale for projects outside Spokane, if someone made the right offer.

“It would be nice to sell it; it would be nice to move on,” said Brewster, who’s now involved in projects in Seattle and Portland.

Renovated in 2005, the 36-room boutique hotel was among the first renovation projects on the First Avenue block. It has a ten-year historic city tax abatement and several tenants, including Far West Billiards.

“This offering is ideal for an owner/operator seeking the opportunity to enhance the hotel’s performance through targeted hands-on operations and sales and marketing,” according to a sales brochure from broker Kennedy & Mohn PS.

Brewster also plans more redevelopment of the Havermale Park project in east downtown Spokane.

The Bickett Building, 225 W. Riverside Ave., and the Richmond Building, 228 W. Sprague Ave., each would become eight high-end apartments above about 4,000 square feet of retail space. The National Building, 17 N. Browne, would have about 8,000 square feet of new office space upstairs. Renovations could cost roughly $2 million to $4 million, he said.

Bordered by Riverside and Sprague avenues and Bernard and Browne streets, the project stalled in 2006 after the completion of apartments in the Hale Building, 227 W. Riverside Ave.

Brewster said he’s still evaluating options for the site where his company, ConoverBond Development, had planned the Vox Tower, a high-rise condo tower conceptualized for what’s now a parking lot along Riverside.

“There just doesn’t seem to be much interest from City Hall,” he said, adding it will probably be a four- or five-story apartment building.


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