December 18, 2009 in Business

Freedom Truck to inhabit larger, consolidated facility

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photo

Owner Ken Cook, right, and Larry Pearson, general manager, stand in the space that will be their truck showroom at the new home of Freedom Truck Centers on Wednesday. The new facility will also have an expanded triage area for diagnoses and simple repairs.
(Full-size photo)

Freedom Truck Centers Inc. will consolidate its three Spokane operations into a $7 million sales and maintenance center on the West Plains when construction ends in May, owner Ken Cook said this week.

The walls and roof are up, and Lydig Construction is installing windows to seal up the 50,000-plus square-foot building next to its existing center at 10310 W. Westbow, Cook said.

The facility will have 27 service bays, including four dedicated to drive-up “triage” that will identify and repair minor problems in one hour. A bridge crane and dynamometer will also be installed.

The 18-acre pad will have an area controlled by electric gates to protect high-value cargo, he said.

Freedom sells and maintains Freightliner, Western Star and Sterling trucks, and Fontaine and Reitnouer trailers. Cook said the company will lose its Sterling sales franchise in June and will close the facility at 7626 W. Geiger dedicated to Sterling.

Freedom will continue to sell Sterling parts and provide maintenance in the new building, he said.

Freedom does not own the Geiger location. It does own its facility at 5615 E. Third that has been its headquarters since around 1960. Cook said Freedom will sell or lease that location.

Freedom also has a Yakima operation.

Cook said he’s owned Freedom since 1993, but its history dates back to 1942. His Freightliner franchise encompasses Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Lincoln County in Montana.

Weather delays park’s construction

Winter weather has interrupted construction of a 17-acre commercial and industrial park on Geiger Boulevard west of the Airport Business Park, said Dick Edwards of Hawkins Edwards Inc.

Crews were installing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity lines, he said, and were preparing to pave the access road when the weather turned.

The project owned by Electric 90 Partnership will give companies ready-made access to utilities and allow them to start construction as soon as they obtain a building permit, he said, adding that one tenant, Sweet Swiss Confections Inc., has already committed to a site.

Edwards said the owners want sites available to businesses as the economy rebounds, instead of making them wait.

Besides, he said, “Right now is a great time to be doing this stuff” because there are few other construction projects.

The improvements will cost $1.5 million, Edwards said.

New car lot on East Sprague

Spokane area residents Rick and Amy Harter and Clint Tannehill have opened Affordable Motors, at 4229 E. Sprague, in Spokane. They’ve taken over the lot formerly used by Millennium Motors.

The owner of the lot is Costanzo Trust. Clark Pacific Real Estate Co. handled the listing and arranged the lease.

Dental clinic nears completion

The Liberty Lake Family Dentistry clinic, at 1328 N. Stanford Lane in Liberty Lake, is scheduled to open in the spring. Work started on the $1.1 million project this fall. Baker Construction is the general contractor.

Dentist Michelle Olmstead bought the land and owns the one-level, 6,000-square-foot building. Her clinic will occupy 5,000 square feet of space.

The other 1,000 square feet are available for lease, said Barry Baker, of Baker Construction.

Tom Sowa contributed to this report.

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