With business running at record levels for the third year in a row, Kuma Stoves owner Mark Freeman said he is anxious to move into a new manufacturing plant before next winter.
He said completion of the 17,000-square-foot building at 50167 N. Old Highway 95 is expected in late September or early October. CDA Structures of Coeur d’Alene is the contractor.
“It’s right in the thick of it in terms of the sales season,” said Freeman, who founded Kuma in 1981.
The new building will be slightly more than twice the size of Kuma’s existing plant at 2150 W. Hayden.
He said Kuma always flourishes during economic downturns, when people look for ways to cut living costs.
“We’re building stoves like crazy,” he said. “This is a product that works well in a time like this.”
Although the building permit indicates the building’s cost will be slightly more than $1 million, Freeman said he hopes the finished cost will come in below that.
Kuma, he said, has employed seven but recently hired another welder.
Hotel revamp nearly complete
New owners of the Hotel Ruby, at 901 W. First, say they’ll complete the renovation of the downtown Spokane hotel in another week, just in time for Hoopfest weekend.
Built in 1961 as the Town Centre Motor Inn, the 37-room motel became the Rodeway Inn in 2001.
This past year a new ownership group, GVD Commercial Properties Inc., took it over and expects to spend roughly $1 million turning it into a boutique hotel, said general manager Brian Brumfield.
Room decors will be themed to music and art. The goal is to take advantage of its location inside downtown Spokane’s Davenport arts district, Brumfield said.
He said 18 rooms are available now, with the remaining 19 soon to be completed.
Sapphire Lounge on the main floor will open in October, Brumfield said.
Contractors lumber store opens
Parr Lumber Co. has opened a contractors-only store at 3803 N. Sullivan.
A spokesman said the Hillsboro, Ore.-based company employs four but will staff up to around 12 as drivers, forklift operators and outside salesmen are added at the 2-acre facility. Tim Killar is the yard manager.
Parr has been providing service to Spokane contractors from other locations in the region.
“The new location will allow us to enhance our product and service offerings for existing customers as well as new customers,” Parr Co. CEO David Hamill said.
Some Parr locations have retail stores, which employ as many as 40.
Green homes showcase opens
The Showcase of Green Homes opens today in the River District at Liberty Lake.
The event is the first showcase for homes built to Energy Star and Built Green standards, which stress energy efficiency and minimal environmental impacts.
The six homes were constructed by five builders: two by Greenstone Homes, and one each by Victory Homes, George White Homes, Brent Peterson Construction and the Spokane Home Builders Association.
The homes are open 3-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors on Thursday. The event concludes June 27.
More information and directions are available at www.spokaneshowcaseofhomes.com.