Arrow-right Camera


Boutique takes center stage

Fri., July 18, 2008

After helping other professionals and businesses find homes in Spokane and participating in the downtown revitalization, a partner in a well-known architecture, brokerage and construction firm has started her own retail venture.

Owner Patricia Sampson is in the process of opening Tangerine, a new women’s clothing boutique, in the CenterStage building, 1019 W. First Ave. Sporting what Sampson describes as an urban-industrial feel – including a wall painted the shop’s namesake color, a design made from glass shards and large black and white chairs – it will carry clothes allowing patrons to “funk it up or dress it up.”

While she doesn’t have a retail background, Sampson has been a real estate agent specializing in corporate relocations, and last year she became a partner in RenCorp LLC, which has renovated nearby buildings.

Sampson plans to carry threads from vendors such as Skunkfunk, Kersh and See Thru Soul.

“The store itself is just an artistic expression,” she said, adding she wanted the 870-square-foot room to be a place women could hang out and have “kind of a girls’ club, if you will.”

A local artist is slated to be at the store Aug. 1 for Tangerine’s initial First Friday art walk. The store will employ three, Sampson said.

The store became a dream “just over the past couple of years, because I’ve been so involved in the Davenport Arts District and development that I saw a need for the shop coming in here,” she said.

Valley apartment complex permitted

A 144-unit apartment complex rising in Spokane Valley should be finished next spring or summer, a partner in the project said.

Granite Pointe Apartments, 12707 E. Mansfield Ave., is permitted to include a 2,354-square-foot recreation building with pool and five three-story buildings – all valued at $11.4 million, according to Spokane Valley building permits. It’s being developed by HAL Valley Apartments LLC, a partnership between Bill Lawson, Chris Ashenbrener and Tom Hamilton.

Granite Pointe sits on a rocky, roughly nine-acre parcel near the large River Rock and Eagle Rock apartment complexes, which Lawson and Ashenbrener developed and sold.

“We think demand for apartment housing is increasing, and it’s probably one of the more healthy aspects of the economy right now, actually,” Ashenbrener said.

A planned expansion directly east will include 252 units and another club house and pool, he said.

Church could be landmark

Plans to replace a Lutheran church in downtown Spokane with a 115-room Best Western hotel may have hit a snag.

The city-county Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission this week unanimously decided the St. John’s Lutheran Church building at Third Avenue and Division Street may be eligible for listing on the national or Spokane registers of historic places. That means before property owners and hoteliers John and Rita Santillanes can demolish the structure, they will need to prove keeping it would be an economic hardship, have a building permit in place or have a surety bond for the cost of replacing the structure, said Karen Marshall, assistant city historic preservation officer.

Or, the Santillanes, owners of Best Western Peppertree Inns at Spokane International Airport and in Liberty Lake, could take steps to list the building. Members of the congregation already have salvaged windows and other parts of the church for use in a new building in southwest Spokane.

The building may qualify for the registers because of its age – it must be at least 50 years old – and because it was designed by “prominent, prolific” Spokane architecture firm Whitehouse and Price, Marshall said.

Rita Santillanes previously said owners have completed an environmental report for the hotel and were waiting for results of a traffic study that will complete their application to the city. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Bella Lago plat extension denied

Developers of an upscale hillside development planned for Liberty Lake won’t get any more extra time to finalize their site plan, the Liberty Lake City Council voted this week.

Councilors decided the Bella Lago preliminary plat, which would be used to subdivide about 45 acres near the MeadowWood and Liberty Lake golf courses into 47 lots for single-family homes, won’t receive further time extensions.

Developers already were granted two one-year extensions to finalize the plat but had argued Spokane County codes should apply to the project because it predates incorporation of the city, allowing further delay.

Bella Lago LLC this year did finalize the plat for 15 parcels, for sale at $159,000 to $225,000. They may be the site of a summer 2009 home show, depending on market conditions, said Wayne Frost, managing partner.

Reach Parker Howell at (509) 459-5491 or at


Click here to comment on this story »