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Here’s the Dirt: Grapetree Village expanding

Fri., March 20, 2009

Architect Glen Cloninger has begun construction on another phase of the Grapetree Village development on East 29th Avenue in Spokane.

The 24,000-square-foot expansion is a continuation of the original, slightly smaller structure that opened in 2007, Cloninger said. He said that space is fully leased.

The new phase, which will be available for occupancy in the fall, will be split evenly between retail and office space, he said.

Parking, as with the earlier phases and the Applebee’s restaurant that is also part of the development, will be in the rear.

Cloninger said he has strived for a feel akin to that of Carmel, Calif., using flowers and trees to complement mixed use that also includes residential development behind the commercial structures.

There is space for another expansion east of Applebee’s. Cloninger said a decision on when to proceed there will depend on the economy’s performance.

SFCC building wins LEED Gold

A year-old building at Spokane Falls Community College has been certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold, the first Washington community or technical college to reach that mark.

Greg Plummer, district director of facilities for Community Colleges of Spokane, said sn-w’ey’-mn, Salish for “place of commerce,” was designed to “silver” standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council, which certifies buildings based on design, construction and operation. Platinum is the highest possible level.

He said sn-w’ey’-mn, pronounced “sin-WAY-mun,” has exceeded expectations and also benefited from a commitment to use some wind power to light the building. About 95 percent of the construction waste was recycled, he said.

“That’s a phenomenal figure,” Plummer said.

He said energy-saving features in the building include radiant-floor heat in the three-story atrium, double walls of glass on its west side with louvers in between, and installation of bamboo cabinetry, doors and trim.

Those measures did not add much to the $16 million cost, he said.

Plummer said pinning down energy savings at sn-w’ey’-mn, also know as Building 24, is difficult because it is not metered separately, and weather variations must be taken into account.

The 67,700-square-foot building houses business and social services programs at the SFCC campus. Northwest Architectural Co. designed sn-w’wy’-mn, and Kearsley Construction Co. was the general contractor.

Alfresco on South Hill

Restaurateur Tana Rekofke says she hopes to soon add outdoor seating to Vintages 611, the recently opened eatery on Spokane’s South Hill.

Rekofke took over a former office space in the Manito Shopping Center, 611 E. 30th, and converted it into an elegant eating establishment. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday (until midnight Friday and Saturday). She calls the cuisine “eclectic American” with a nice collection of wines.

E-mail Here’s the Dirt at or call (509) 459-5528.

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