July 18, 2008 in Business

Tower would emphasize views

Plans submitted for mixed-use structure along Spokane River
By The Spokesman-Review

Building details

The 230,653-square-foot building would provide 154 parking spaces, and offer 5,000 square feet of retail space at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Lincoln Street, plans show. A second, parallel tower, slated to measure about 201,000 square feet, could add another 78 condos and more parking.

A development company proposing a 14-story, 78-unit condominium tower on the banks of the Spokane River near downtown Spokane envisions a wedge-shaped glass, metal and pre-cast panel structure promoting “visual access and view corridors,” design documents submitted to the city say.

Plans from Spokane-based SRM Development LLC for the first phase of the mixed-use Broadway Towers, slated for the site of the current YWCA on the north side of the river, depict the shiny edifice rising above 2 ½ levels of parking and featuring a pool and spa with a view of a new public river overlook. Spokane’s Design Review Committee will consider the proposal – and whether it meets a variety of rules and guidelines meant to protect aesthetics and public access along the river – at a meeting next week.

The building’s shape allows all the units to have views, said Ryan Leong, development manager. Yet that vista will come at a price. Like the adjacent Upper Falls condominiums, which nearly sold out, Broadway Towers condos probably will start at more than $500,000, Leong said.

SRM wants to “maximize the view from the building as well as the view corridors through the entire site for adjacent properties,” he said.

“That’s one of the reasons we opted to go with a skinnier tower design as opposed to kind of a wider design like the Upper Falls condos next door,” he said.

City departments are still reviewing and commenting on SRM’s application for a conditional-use permit, said Dave Compton, of the city’s Planning Services Department.

Those permits are required for some types of development within 200 feet of the river’s high-water mark.

SRM hopes to have approval for the tower by the end of the year and to begin construction after the YWCA occupies its new building in mid-2009, Leong said.

While the overall condo market has stalled, “We think that it offers something very unique to the market that really only the Upper Falls condos has offered thus far, and they’ve proved that the concept worked very well there,” he said.

And the building probably wouldn’t be done for three years. “So it’s our hope at this point that the markets by then have turned,” he said.

The 230,653-square-foot building would provide 154 parking spaces and offer 5,000 square feet of retail space at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Lincoln Street, plans show.

A second, parallel tower about 201,000 square feet could add another 78 condos and more parking.

Plans also show street trees and a pull-through driveway off Broadway. Amenities would include fitness and locker rooms, basketball courts on a deck above the pool, and a lobby with hearth overlooking the river.

Reach Parker Howell at (509) 459-5491 or at parkerh@spokesman.com.

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