October 1, 2010 in Business

Century-old building getting efficiency upgrades, more

Great Northern remake begins
The Spokesman-Review
Christopher Anderson photo

The renovation of the Great Northern Building in Spokane includes plans for a cistern and solar panels.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

What will eventually be a $10 million-plus renovation of the 103-year-old Great Northern Building at 802 E. Spokane Falls Blvd. has begun, with crews laying down a new roof and installing windows and doors.

Kim Pearman-Gilman, business development director for McKinstry, said the work will get the 52,000-square-foot building buttoned up so a yearlong interior remodeling can get under way once the designs are complete.

“We’re taking the least efficient building in town and making it the most efficient,” Pearman-Gilman said.

Among the planned features are a cistern for capturing rain water, solar panels, and a ground-source heat pump. Creature comforts will include a café and gym.

Eventually, she said, monitoring and control systems will be incorporated that will allow the building to regulate itself.

The extent of the modifications will depend on compliance with requirements for getting the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a shoreline permit, she said.

Pearman-Gilman said McKinstry, which specializes in green design and construction, will occupy only a portion of the space, with the expectation the company will take more square footage as staff grows from the present 78 to an expected 200.

She said McKinstry also bought the Habitat for Humanity store at Spokane Falls Boulevard and Hamilton Street and plans to convert it to a sheet-metal shop.

Brew pub coming to South Hill

A South Hill brew pub, Manito Taphouse, will take over the space last used by the Pear Tree Inn, in Manito Shopping Center, at 29th Avenue and Grand Boulevard.

New owner Patrick McPherson, a wholesale company manager in the Tri Cities, will convert the location House, at 3011 S. Grand Blvd., at a cost of roughly $550,000.

McPherson plans to open the business – his first – in early December.

McPherson grew up in Spokane and will move back to supervise the remodel. He has a second silent partner in the project.

“This will be a laid-back ‘gastro pub’ with 30-plus beers on tap, a casual attitude and good, fresh local food,” he said.

He plans a total of 110 seats, with 70 inside and 40 on the outside patio.

New IHOP décor sets standard

An extensive redecoration of the IHOP on North Division Street in Spokane will be replicated at hundreds of the restaurants nationwide.

The local eatery – one of four in the area owned by Jay Jordan – is the first to sport a new look for the home of the Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity breakfast.

Following a closure Sept. 5-10, the changes inside the 38-year-old building include new flooring, tables and chairs, wall coverings and paint, and food-themed pop art on the walls. On the outside, IHOP’s signature blue roof and A-frame architecture remain, punched up with copper panel-covered gables and freshly painted brickwork.

It’s the most extensive update in 14 years, Jordan said. “I characterize this as ‘Extreme Makeover, Restaurant Edition,’ ” the franchise owner said. He described the new ambiance as “warm, inviting, current, unique.”

Three hundred IHOPs will adopt the new look each year, Jordan said. On average, each renovation will cost about $100,000, he said.

Jordan, the president of CARDAN Hospitality Inc., also owns the two IHOPs in Spokane Valley and the Coeur d’Alene restaurant. He sits on a committee of IHOP franchise owners that developed the new design.

The chain includes about 1,450 restaurants owned by 350 independent operators.

Paper florist to open second shop

Spokane’s paper florist, aNeMonE, will bloom in a second location this coming holiday season.

Two years after coming to River Park Square in downtown Spokane, aNeMonE will open a boutique this winter at 309 W. Second Ave.

The second shop, located between Lolo Boutique and Finders Keepers, will feature intricate paper flower bouquets and arrangements for weddings and other occasions, as well as event rental décor, locally made gifts, specialty paper and gift wrapping.

Owner Mary Eberle said she expects to hire three or four employees for the store.

The River Park Square shop on the mall’s second level, next to Nordstrom, is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. That store opened one year ago after Eberle spent the year before that operating in a kiosk in the mall. Prior to that, she ran the business out of a studio attached to her home.

Deputy City Editor Scott Maben and reporter Tom Sowa 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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