July 9, 2010 in Business

North Side Olive Garden plans fall opening

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

George Mavety, project supervisor for Haley Construction, moves a pallet of tile at the Olive Garden construction site at Northpointe. Mavety says the restaurant will open in the fall.
(Full-size photo)

Olive Garden will open its second Spokane restaurant later this year at 9652 N. Newport Highway, in a new building expected to be finished in September.

The 7,400-square foot building will have seating for more than 200 diners, plus a lounge that can seat about 60.

Total construction cost is estimated at $1.3 million. Haley Construction from Daytona Beach, Fla., is the general contractor.

Supervisor George Mavety said construction of the restaurant – in “Tuscan farmhouse” style – will be finished in the first week of September.

Olive Garden spokeswoman Katie Lennon said the restaurant is expected to open in early November.

The location will probably hire about 165 employees, Lennon said. The only other Spokane Olive Garden is downtown.

Olive Garden’s corporate parent is Darden Restaurants, a Florida company that also owns Red Lobster and four other chains. The company never franchises its operations, resulting in a total startup cost for each new location of more than $3 million.

Tech firm Esterline expands

Coeur d’Alene tech firm Esterline Advanced Input Devices doubled its manufacturing and stock space with a 54,000-square-foot expansion dedicated last week, spokesman Robert Jibby said.

The additional space, and an upturn in business, will allow the company to move more of the temporary workers in its 350-person work force to full-time, and to add new workers, he said.

Jibby said expansion into the new space from the prior footprint of 85,000 square feet occurred over one month with no interruption in manufacturing.

Founded in 1979 as a maker of keyboards, Esterline has expanded into other product lines, including gaming and security.

South Hill Sylvan center moves

The South Hill Spokane Sylvan Learning Center has moved into a new space at 2926 S. Regal St. Franchise owner Maggie Crawford moved from the previous location, 2527 E. 27th Ave.

Sylvan offers individual instruction in reading and math skills. The new location, at the corner of Regal Street and 30th Avenue, is 2,500 square feet.

Clark Pacific represented Crawford, and the owner in arranging a five-year lease.

Crawford has two other Sylvan sites, in North Spokane and Spokane Valley.

Concrete, food firms join business park

Two new leases were signed by companies moving into the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, 3012 N. Sullivan Road.

CSI, LLC, a concrete construction contractor, is taking 1,250 square feet in Building S-5. The company was formerly operated out of a family home in Spokane.

Reser’s Fine Foods is taking 6,000 square feet in Building 14. The company operates a food warehouse and distribution center.

A space fit for pretzels

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels will fill the empty location on the River Park Square second level formerly used by Wetzel’s Pretzels.

Spokane franchisee Jeff Miller already runs one Auntie Anne’s in the Spokane Valley Mall. He is expected to open his downtown Spokane pretzel store in August.

River Park Square Mall is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

Staff writer Bert Caldwell 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 business@ spokesman.com or call (509)459-5528

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