March 6, 2009 in Business

Refurbished motor court offers low-cost, downsized housing

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Colin Mulvany photo

At Latah Creek Cottages, Ethan Bratrud, a construction worker with Wells & Co., installs vinyl siding on one of 12 former motor court cottages being upgraded to condos. Prices start at $119,000.
(Full-size photo)

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Wells & Co. will reintroduce motor court living to the Spokane real estate market Sunday.

Developer Ron Wells has finished an overhaul – really a rebuilding – of eight small homes and two townhouses that once constituted the Casa Grande Motor Court. Crews are finishing four others. And the motor court’s former store is for sale as a store or restaurant, he said.

Renamed Latah Valley Cottages, the units at Coeur d’Alene Street and 11th Avenue range in size from 540 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Prices start at $119,900. Nine of the 12 are priced below $135,000. The townhouses are listed at $179,000.

Amenities include tiled floors in the bathrooms and kitchens, tile or marble countertops, full-size washers and dryers, and separate heating units, each with its own thermostat, in every room.

The dwellings surround a common area that will be maintained by a homeowners association, which will also take care of plowing, Wells said.

He said almost all the units are new from the ground up. The originals, built in 1929, turned out to be in worse shape than expected once his crew started pulling them apart, he said.

“It’s been an interesting experience,” Wells said, adding that the new construction has made the cottages more energy efficient.

He said the cottages have been on the Multiple Listing Service for only a few days, but several real estate agents have already inquired about the project.

“I think people are very interested in nice, cheap houses,” Wells said.

Ruby Street Antiques to close its doors

For years Spokane drivers heading along North Ruby have gawked at the antiques, animal sculptures and outdoor gewgaws filling the yard and around the business office of Ruby Street Antiques, at 104 E. Mission.

Owner Mike Ferguson isn’t sure when he opened the store – it might have been in 2000, he said.

He’s certain, however, that the Ruby Street Antiques is closing, probably by Memorial Day.

Expenses, particularly a more expensive lease payment, have eaten a hole in the operating budget, Ferguson said.

Beyond the lease, the other factor in closing is the economy, he said. “It seemed like once we got to October, someone threw a switch and shoppers stopped coming,” he said.

He’ll continue his other location, off Interstate 90 near Medical Lake.

Pipeline Industries leases downtown space

The downtown Spokane office space formerly used by Marshall Chesrown’s Kendall Yards project has been leased to a new occupant. The two-story 6,800-square-foot space, in the Brundage Block building, 110 N. Post St., will be the Spokane office of Denver-based water and sewer line maintenance firm Pipeline Industries.

This is the first Spokane location for the company, said a spokesman in the Denver office.

He could not say when the office will open. Black Rock Development, the parent company for Chesrown’s projects, still owns the building.

Pizza and microbrew deliveries

Kim and Matthew Howes have launched their first business, Adelo’s Take and Bake Pizza, at 9021 N. Indian Trail Road. It just might be the first pizza place in town to deliver bottles of microbrew beers.

The young north Spokane couple share the baking, bookkeeping and other duties.

In addition to take-and-bake pizza and hot wings, the business offers about 200 microbrew beers to wash the meal down.

Pizzas and beer are sold for takeout, or delivery within a limited area. The beer and pizza menus are available at www.adelospizza.com.

“Yes, we were told we can make home delivery of beer. We checked to be sure,” said Kim Howes, who works by day as a dental hygienist and shifts to pizza by night.

The business is open seven days a week.

Gun shop to relocate

North Spokane gun shop owner Axel Raven will relocate his business from 4107 N. Division to a new leased commercial building at 2103 N. Division.

The new office, with 1,400 square feet, triples his available space, Raven said. The retail gun shop has been in business for seven years.

Bruttles to add outlet in CdA

Bruttles Candy Shoppe, which operates two Spokane locations, is adding a Coeur d’Alene store.

Its newest shop officially opens March 20 at 115 Sherman Ave. A soft opening is today.

Owner Carol Measel has one Spokane Valley shop and another inside the Davenport Hotel.

The Coeur d’Alene shop will carry the name Bruttles by the Lake. It will carry homemade candy and ice cream.

Staff writer Tom Sowa contributed to this roundup.

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