City parks officials are hoping to tear down a portion of a former dairy that’s in disrepair and was the site of a recent injury that cost the city $190,000.
“The space is an increasing liability to us,” said Leroy Eadie, director of Parks and Recreation.
The city’s parks department bought a portion of the former Carnation Dairy as part of a park bond measure approved by voters in 1999. Most of the building is owned by local real estate firm Goodale and Barbieri and is in use under the name Broadview Dairy – after the dairy’s original name. But the city’s portion is unsecured and in poor condition, Eadie said.
“It’s a challenge to keep people out of there,” he said.
The city’s former dairy land, which is adjacent to Riverfront Park, was advertised as the possible site of a science museum in the lead-up to the 1999 vote, but negotiations between the Park Board and a nonprofit group working to build the museum fell through last year. That group, Mobius Spokane, announced this summer that it would open a new science center in the former downtown J.C. Penney building, which is owned by Cowles Co., owner of The Spokesman-Review.
Eadie said he met with Goodale and Barbieri officials on Wednesday to determine where the property line is within the main dairy structure. There is no wall at the location of the property line, but Eadie said Goodale and Barbieri officials would like the building torn down to the wall closest to the border. The real estate company would pay demolition costs for any part of the building on its property, he said.
Riverfront Park Manager Craig Butz said the park system also is unlikely to find a use for the old Carnation garage, which also was purchased as part of the 1999 bond. That building, which was built in 1914, is across the street and vacant.
It’s unclear what the parks department will do with the land once it’s clear. He said cost of demolition also is unknown.
“It would be very logical to try to do this at the same time as the Y demolition – if we could hook them altogether,” Butz said.
The Park Board wants to create a long-term vision for Riverfront Park that considers recent developments – including the likely demolition of the former YMCA and the scuttling of the proposal for the science museum, Eadie said. What to do with the former dairy land will be part of that examination, he said.
In the meantime, Eadie said, “what we’re trying to do is get that property cleaned up.”