Arrow-right Camera
News >  Business

Athletic complex builders have moved mountains

Scott Holstrom, Shawn Beach, rear, and Ryan Thorne, from concrete contractor Cameron-Reilly, fill forms for planter boxes behind one of the five  five softball fields at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex this week near Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane. (Dan Pelle)
Scott Holstrom, Shawn Beach, rear, and Ryan Thorne, from concrete contractor Cameron-Reilly, fill forms for planter boxes behind one of the five five softball fields at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex this week near Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane. (Dan Pelle)

When we say Here’s the Dirt, in this case we mean it. The companies working the large Dwight Merkel Athletic Complex job in northwest Spokane have moved 100,000 cubic yards of dirt laying out the 60-acre sports and recreation site next to Joe Albi Stadium.

Going back several years, the plan was to create a larger, user-friendly location that would replace the worn soccer fields and scraggly parking spaces.

Money for the $11 million project comes from a voter-approved park bond issue and the sale of city property.

Work started last April. General contractor Bouten Construction plans to finish the job in July, said project manager Scott McGlocklin.

“That dirt we’ve moved around is all from the same site,” McGlocklin said.

“We didn’t have to bring any dirt to the site,” except for the clay infields for the five ballfields.

The city’s parks department will have an opening weekend later this summer for the complex.

When finished, the project will have:

•Eight soccer fields – two on synthetic turf, six on grass.

•Five softball fields surrounded by fencing and equipped with 27 high-tech light poles that can be adjusted and maintained remotely.

•A BMX (bicycle motocross) course on the southwest corner of the parcel, just north of Albi Stadium.

•A neighborhood park with benches, concession stands and restrooms.

•A walking trail.

•A skateboard park next to the softball field complex.

•Roughly 1,100 paved parking spots.

The only remaining parts of the old Albi fields are a concession stand and restroom, on the north end of the fields, plus about 200 ponderosa pines.

The layout was largely the work of Lacey, Wash., landscape architect Bob Droll. Droll said crews will be planting about 400 new trees and “a huge number” of cover plants and shrubs, particularly along the parking pads.

The softball fields and the two synthetic soccer fields will all have lights for night games, said Tim Bouten, the project supervisor. The lights will make the field a destination for regional tournaments, the city’s Park Board has said.

Hotel planned for Pullman

InterMountain Management LLC announced plans to build a 100-room, $11.5 million Hampton Inn & Suites in the southeast corner of Pullman.

Director of development Stan Jones said InterMountain is close to buying roughly four acres near the intersection of Bishop Boulevard and Fairmount Drive.

InterMountain, based in Monroe, La., believes Pullman doesn’t have enough quality lodging to meet demand, Jones said.

Last month a California developer, Sonnenblick-Del Rio, announced plans for a hotel and convention center on land it hopes to buy from Washington State University.

Jones said the decision by that company will not affect InterMountain’s plans.

He said construction would start in the first quarter of 2011.

Church rebuilding regional headquarters

The Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has started construction on a new headquarters in Spokane to replace a building destroyed by fire in 2008.

The 37,000-square-foot regional church headquarters will rise at 3715 S. Grove Road, just off Interstate 90 east of Spokane International Airport. The estimated construction cost is $7.6 million, to be paid by insurance disbursements.

The new building will house offices, a general assembly room, a book center, a health food store and radio and television studios, including for KEEH, Positive Life Radio.

Leone and Keeble Inc. of Spokane is the general contractor, and Coeur d’Alene-based Architects West is the project architect.

Construction is expected to be completed in April 2011.

The church headquarters employs 45 people, spokesman Jay Wintermeyer said. The staff is working out of leased space in Spokane Valley.

The Upper Columbia Conference is the administrative headquarters for more than 25,000 members of 130 churches and worship groups and 28 schools in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and northeastern Oregon.

Coldwater Creek looking for office tenants

Coldwater Creek is looking to sublease an empty office building it put up in 2007 at 745 W. Hanley Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

Originally planned as a second call center for the Sandpoint-based women’s clothing retailer, Coldwater Creek never occupied the building as the economy slipped off the tracks.

The empty building has two floors of Class A commercial space, with roughly 23,000 square feet per floor, said leasing broker Chris Bell of NAI Black.

The building is due east of Coldwater Creek’s main Coeur d’Alene call center, which was built in 2000.

No TV, no Wi-Fi here

Brothers Andy and Glen Gardner have opened The Hop Shop, at 3803 S. Grand Blvd., on Spokane’s South Hill.

“There’s no TV, no Wi-Fi and just fine music,” Andy Gardner said. “People will have to sit or stand and look each other in the eye.”

This is the first business the brothers have operated together, said Glen Gardner.

Beers on tap and in bottles will be served, along with wine by the glass or bottle.

The hangout will operate 4 p.m. until closing, Tuesday-Sunday.

Mortgage broker moves to Valley

Mortgage broker W.J. Bradley has moved into 2,000 square feet of office space at 1101 N. Argonne Road, in Spokane Valley.

The company is moving from its current site in the Rockpointe 1 building.

City Editor Scott Maben contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new development projects in the Inland Northwest. E-mail business@ or call (509) 459-5528.