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Here’s the Dirt: Y Building, Ridpath floors on auction block

The top two floors of the former Ridpath Hotel, once the home of one of Spokane’s hot spots – Ankeny’s – are on the block in a national silent auction that concludes May 1.

The adjacent Y Building is also for sale through Florida-based Higginbotham Auctioneers, said Jon Jeffreys, an associate with NAI Black. The alliance is a first, he said, and Black is anxious to see how it works out.

The owner of the two properties is Poacher’s Rock LLC, whose investors Jeffreys declined to identify.

The reserve bid on the Ridpath floors is $2.6 million, he said, and $3.1 million on the Y Building, a former home of the YWCA converted into 45 hotel rooms and ground floor retail space. The basement contains a marble swimming pool now covered by flooring.

The properties can be sold before the auction closes if a bid in excess of the reserves comes in, he said.

Jeffreys and fellow Black associate Mark McLees said several local and out-of-town buyers have toured the structures.

McLees said the Ridpath floors most likely will be dedicated to Class A office use. They could be reached by refurbished interior elevators, or by a new exterior elevator that could be affixed to the southeast corner of the building, he said.

A staircase leads to the roof, which McLees said could be used for a garden, or a tennis or basketball court.

The remainder of the building is owned separately, but easements allow access to the elevators, Jeffreys said.

The owner, he added, would like to keep one-half of one floor for a residence if that fits the plans of whomever buys the Ridpath space.

The Ridpath was closed last August by 515 Washvada Investments LLC, the owner.

Auto dealer still working on two projects

It’s been two years since Dave Coombs bought the former Spokane Safeway store on Third Avenue and Maple Street with the goal of moving his downtown Lexus dealership there. The Lexus dealer signs still hang from the walls of the building, but Coombs said he’ll need more time before that move occurs.

Coombs said he won’t start the Safeway conversion until next year and won’t have it done until late 2010.

Meanwhile Coombs is spending several million dollars on renovations and expansion of the Downtown Toyota dealership on the 1200 block of West Third Avenue.

Part of that work includes remodeling the new-car showroom and renovating the 4,300-square foot parts department.

Coombs said the remodeling conforms to Toyota’s national dealer guidelines.

He’s not sure how much the current expansion will cost. City building permits estimate the Downtown Toyota dealership work is worth about $4 million.

Gourmet café launches on S. Howard

Taste Cafe & Gourmet to Go opened last month at the corner of 180 S. Howard St. in downtown Spokane.

Taste’s chefs focus on made-from-scratch breakfast, lunch and deli items. Hours are weekdays 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The café does orders to go and online orders.

Owners are Jane Heber and her daughter, Hannah Heber, the pastry chef.

Footware store looking for buyer

Rhonda Hagenstein has posted for sale signs at her Spokane Valley shop Z-Coil Pain Relief Footware, at 122 N. Bowdish Road. She’s telling customers she’ll close her franchise store once she finds a buyer.

West Side engineers open doors downtown

AHBL Inc., a Tacoma-based engineering, planning and surveying firm, opened its first Spokane office recently in the Fernwell executive suites, 505 W. Riverside Ave. The company has operated out of a virtual office until now. Plans are for AHBL to open a Tri-Cities location later this year.

Archives moves into industrial park

Spokane record storage company Century Archives Northwest has leased 5,600 square feet in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, 3808 N. Sullivan Road. The company was founded by former Hollister Stier Laboratories CEO Tony Bonanzino and his son.

Tax relief firm finds home

North Idaho’s Instant Tax Solutions is now leasing the former John Beutler/Century-21 office at 1700 E. Schneidmiller Ave. in Post Falls.

The firm, with 10 employees, provides tax debt relief and helps resolve tax disputes.

Staff writer Tom Sowa contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new developments and business openings, closings or movement in the Inland Northwest. E-mail or call (509) 459-5528. Staff writer Tom Sowa contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new developments and business openings, closings or movement in the Inland Northwest. E-mail or call (509) 459-5528.

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