January 25, 2008 in Business

Wal-Mart looking again at Post Falls

Parker Howell The Spokesman-Review
 
Artist rendering courtesy of Nystrom, Olson, Collins photo

The Grant Building at Riverside Avenue and Post Street in downtown Spokane is being renovated. The work is expected to be completed by fall.
(Full-size photo)

Wal-Mart is looking at building a second supercenter in Post Falls but hasn’t settled on a location, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer, which has a store at 3050 E. Mullan Ave., has talked with developers, including The Pointe at Post Falls developer Foursquare Properties Inc., spokeswoman Karianne Fallow said.

“We have been looking at the market because it is a growing market for us,” she said. Located just off Interstate 90 at the west end of Post Falls, The Pointe is anchored by Cabela’s, which opened in November.

The city of more than 25,000 residents could handle another supercenter, which offers groceries in addition to household wares, Fallow said.

“It’s not uncommon, especially when our existing store is very successful and it’s doing a lot of volume and it’s got a lot of foot traffic,” she said. “So we believe we can serve the market with an additional store.”

The city has a “strong belief that we’ll see Wal-Mart located at The Pointe at Post Falls,” said Eric Keck, city administrator. But the city’s biggest concern is what would happen to the existing store, he said.

“We would hate to see that one close to afford them an opportunity to move to the west and get a larger market draw,” he said.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Foursquare last week submitted a preliminary site plan showing 805,901 square feet of buildings on about 83 acres east of Cabela’s. That space would be spread across four anchor stores and numerous smaller buildings.

Foursquare hasn’t announced future tenants, said Erich Grosse, project manager. There’s no definite timeline for more development there, he said.

It usually takes a few weeks to review preliminary plans, which must be approved by the city Planning Commission. Site plans allow developers to speed the process because tenants then may apply for building permits, said Alex Ikefuna, community development director.

Grant Building remodel under way

Renovation of the Grant Building in downtown Spokane could be completed this fall, developers said.

Crews have removed the 59,300-square-foot structure’s façade, and developers received a building permit this week to proceed with work.

The building, at Riverside Avenue and Post Street, is owned jointly by SRM Development LLC, of Spokane, and the founders of law firm Dunn & Black PS. The project is estimated at $2.5 million, public records show.

Both firms plan to move into the building. “I think that both entities were looking for their own space,” said attorney Robert Dunn. “It just seemed like a natural fit.”

One potential tenant is in negotiations for the street-level space, said Dave Tomson, development manager for SRM.

The fourth floor will be a 3,000-square-foot condo for a business or restaurant, Dunn said.

Owners abandoned plans for a roof-top sport court as cost-prohibitive, Tomson said.

The Salvation Army plans Valley store

A new Salvation Army thrift store is slated for Spokane Valley following the organization’s $1.5 million purchase of two buildings on a block along East Sprague Avenue.

The nonprofit will transform a 7,535-square-foot building, at 11211 E. Sprague Ave., into the store and lease space in an adjacent one to businesses and religious groups, said Mark McLees, sales and leasing agent for NAI Black. The Salvation Army provides clothes, furniture and other used goods to the needy through vouchers redeemable at the stores, which also raise money for the organization.

The Salvation Army closed its Valley store a few years ago and needed more retail space because of new collection points at Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene Fred Meyer stores, said Neal Shay, a Seattle-based retail director for the organization.

The Salvation Army operates a thrift store on North Division and offers social services through a nearby office.

Apple Spice Junction slated for South Hill

A Spokane couple plans to open a franchise of a national deli, boxed-lunch and catering chain on Spokane’s lower South Hill.

The future Apple Spice Junction, 514 S. Washington St., would be part of a growing, Salt Lake City-based chain offering 14 varieties of salad and 14 sandwiches through an in-store deli. Emmy and Evan Hughes hope to open by late March or early April after gutting the former physical therapy building.

It would be the first outlet in Washington or Idaho for the 30-store chain. The couple hopes to open two more local stores, Emmy Hughes said.

The restaurants do well selling boxed lunches and catering to the business community, said Randy Clegg, managing partner for ASJ Development, which runs the chain.


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