Business

Northeast community center expanding

A Walker Construction crew works on the expansion project at the Northeast Communty Center on Thursday. (Jesse Tinsley)
A Walker Construction crew works on the expansion project at the Northeast Communty Center on Thursday. (Jesse Tinsley)

Facility adding an extra 30,000 square feet

Spokane’s Northeast Community Center, at 4001 N. Cook St., has started work on a $3 million addition that will create 30,000 square feet of meeting and office space and a new computer lab.

The three-level project includes a basement and two above-ground floors. When all facility improvements and equipment costs are included, the total cost will be around $6 million, said Jean Farmer, the center’s executive director.

The lower level will be a youth computer lab and learning center. The lab’s 12 computers will be provided by Tincan, the nonprofit group that received federal money to promote broadband access.

Entry to the lower level will go through an outdoor patio that will be a social site for area students.

The top two addition floors will be filled by medical providers and some companies in related areas, Farmer said, adding that no leases for those tenants have been signed.

Walker Construction is the general contractor. Funding for the project comes from city-approved community development block grants, Holy Family Hospital, Washington state, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and private donors and businesses.

The addition will be ready for operation around the end of the year.

Sale of Arc of Spokane building

Arc of Spokane, which will move later this year to the former Inland Power and Light building, has sold one of its two buildings.

Roger Whitten, an Oakesdale property developer, recently bought Arc of Spokane’s 5,000-square-foot administrative office building, at 127 W. Boone Ave.

Whitten paid $480,000 for the property, which includes 1,400 usable square feet in the basement.

He won’t take possession until Arc finishes remodeling the Inland Power building, which is expected to be finished this fall.

Whitten has no tenants lined up yet, he said.

This is Whitten’s third property purchase in Spokane. A man with a sense of humor and appreciation for old movies, he set up separate LLCs for each building. This one he calls My Man Godfrey LLC.

The other two are Topaze LLC and Topper LLC.

“I like entertainment and I enjoy watching movies from the 1930s,” Whitten said.

Earl Engle of NAI Black represented Arc of Spokane; J.C. Moore of Re/Max Spokane represented Whitten.

Arc of Spokane is also selling its community center building, at 116 W. Indiana Ave.

Safeway buys Bonners Ferry store

Safeway Inc. has purchased Boundary Trading Co. in Bonners Ferry and will transfer its operations into the new location next month.

The existing store at 216 First St. will be taken over by another grocer.

In a news release, Safeway says Boundary Trading will remain in business at 6519 Main St. until April 7. After a short closure, the store will reopen as Safeway while contractors undertake a multimillion-dollar renovation.

The work will include the addition of a second entrance, expanded floral and produce departments, bigger pharmacy, and a deli with more ready-to-eat selections.

Spokeswoman Cherié Myers said the new store will have 35,500 square feet, compared with the 14,000 square feet in Safeway’s present location. Terms of the purchase will not be disclosed, she said, but the remodeling will cost about $5 million.

Following the new store’s grand reopening in July, the First Street store will be closed. The new operator is expected to reopen for business in August.

Myers said Federal Trade Commission rules would not allow Safeway to monopolize the grocery business in Bonners Ferry.

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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