January 11, 2008 in Business

City OKs Jay Avenue extension for WinCo

The Spokesman-Review
 

North Spokane shoppers may have easier access between a planned warehouse-style grocery store and existing retailers using a road extension that will connect Dakota and Nevada streets.

Spokane City Council on Monday signed off on a deal between WinCo Foods LLC and the city calling for the grocery chain to extend East Jay Avenue along the south edge of the proposed development to help alleviate traffic.

The company this summer revealed plans for a 94,642-square-foot store on the site. The extended road will connect it to a Wal-Mart to the west.

When fully developed, the commercial center at 9257 N. Nevada St. will generate roughly 9,000 new vehicle trips per day, according to city documents. At peak evening hours, it will generate nearly 850 new vehicle trips.

Though a WinCo vice president previously said the store should be completed by 2008 or early 2009, the city still is reviewing plans for the building. Company executives could not be reached for comment.

A preliminary site map for the roughly 19-acre development shows several potential future buildings across a 714-stall parking lot: an 11,000-square-foot retail structure and a 4,080-square-foot fast food restaurant at the northeast corner and a 14,550-square-foot drug store or bank next to a 9,000-square-foot retail space at the southeast corner.

WinCo purchased the land for $4.8 million in July, according to county property records.

The agreement also states WinCo will guarantee $595,000 in case it doesn’t complete the work.

Condo’s style revealed

Excavation has started on a new, seven-unit condominium building in Browne’s Addition overlooking Peaceful Valley.

Built in a “European-modern” style, homes in the Barcelona Condominiums, 1630 W. Riverside Ave., will cost about $350,000 to $825,000 each, said Bob Cooke, president of Spokane real estate brokerage R.H. Cooke & Associates Inc.

Cooke Development Corp., an extension of R.H. Cooke & Associates, owns the land and is developing the roughly $3.1 million project. Cooke expects the building to be occupied by Nov. 1.

The flats will have about 1,100- to 2,300 square feet of space, with parking and storage underneath. Because the property sits on a bluff, the basement will be about 20 feet off the ground and the building will sit on stilts, Cooke said.

The building’s primary architect, Spaniard Cesar Fleitas, inspired the project’s name, Cooke said. Fleitas also designed Cooke’s the View Condominiums, 1902 W. Riverside Ave., which sold out immediately, Cooke said.

Cars to yield to shoppers

Construction on a new boutique shopping center on the site of Wendle Northtown’s auto dealership across from NorthTown Mall could start this summer, developers said.

The estimated $20 million Northtown Square is expected to house 16 to 20 shops and restaurants, said Chud Wendle, managing member of developer Northtown Square LLC, a partnership between the Wendle family and Dixon Investment Co. The owners already have secured letters of intent for about half the space, he said, declining to name potential tenants.The timeline for the project, located at the corner of Wellesley Avenue and Division Street, depends on completing a new facility at Wendle at the Y to house its Nissan dealership. When that’s finished, Wendle’s Northtown operation will move there, Wendle said.

Demolition should start in mid- to late-April and take about two months, said John Stejer, president of Dixon Investment.

Site plans call for three buildings, ranging from a 7,100-square-foot restaurant to a five-stall, 51,000-square-foot main retail building. Developers have been negotiating with Darden Restaurants Inc., of Orlando, Fla., which operates the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, Wendle said.

The majority of businesses that have signed letters of intent are national retailers, “most of which are not in this market already,” Stejer said.

Kendall negotiations on

Black Rock Development is speaking with at least three companies as potential partners on the massive, mixed-use development at Kendall Yards, CEO Marshall Chesrown said.

Prospects for partners on the first phase include Minneapolis-based Opus Group, Chesrown said. Opus employs 2,100 in North America and has completed thousands of projects totaling 228 million square feet, according to the company.

“We are clear that as a company we have a lot of abilities, but to pull off all of the moving pieces of this type of development, we really are committed to partner with the right people,” Chesrown said. He expects negotiations to be completed within 60 days.

Construction at Kendall Yards should start in late 2008 or early 2009, Kendall Yards Project Manager Tom Reese told Spokane City Council members Monday. Chesrown said he still expects businesses to begin occupancy in 2009.

“Obviously there’s a tremendous amount of underground peeling of the onion, if you will, work that has to be done right up front,” Reese said. “That work will continue through this winter.”

Blasting on the site this summer created underground vaults that will house power lines. In February or March, Avista will move lines underground, and poles should come down in April, Reese said. Power shouldn’t be interrupted, he said.


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