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Next Kendall Yards phase begins

Developer starts work on first commercial site

The company developing Kendall Yards has started construction of the first commercial building and is finishing plans for a second as it tackles the next phase of Spokane’s largest mixed-use project.

Greenstone Construction crews this week will set the foundation and erect walls of the 5,900-square-foot Cedar Street Park Commercial Building, at the intersection of Ide Avenue and Cedar Street in the center of the Kendall Yards project.

The 78-acre project is due west of the Monroe Street Bridge on former railroad property.

Since 2010, developer Greenstone Corp. has built roughly 60 residential units along the west half of Kendall Yards. All 60 are occupied or already purchased and awaiting completion, said Greenstone residential sales Vice President Greg Benner.

Greenstone took over Kendall Yards in 2009, following the inability of original developer Marshall Chesrown to move the concept off the drawing board. Greenstone CEO Jim Frank took over the project by assuming about $20 million of debt left by Chesrown.

The commercial projects, along Kendall Yards’ eastern half, will include three or four buildings by the end of the year, said commercial manager Adam Jones.

The initial Cedar Street Park building is expected to be completed by September. It will include a 3,000-square-foot restaurant facing south toward the Spokane River, along with a plaza – for live music performances – on its west side.

The building’s north side along Ide Avenue will have two retail-commercial spaces. One will serve as the Kendall Yards welcome center; the second tenant hasn’t been identified, Jones said.

Other commercial properties will be developed as tenants and owners are identified, said Jones. In some cases Greenstone will sell the commercial buildings to owners; in some cases the buildings would be owned by the developer.

The second commercial building is a two-story-plus-daylightbasement office building several hundred feet east of the Cedar Street Park building. It will have roughly 13,000 square feet of space.

Jones didn’t know when work would start on the second building. “We’ll be applying for permits for the office building in the next few weeks,” he said.

At some point this year Greenstone hopes to land a deal for a Kendall Yards market near Bridge Street, north of the first two commercial buildings.

Jones said the initial plan for the grocery was too large. “We’ve downsized and now want to find something that’s more neighborhood-sized,” Jones said. No deals have yet been signed with a grocery company, he added.

Greenstone has labeled Kendall Yards a “new urbanism” project combining affordable homes with businesses within walking distance of downtown.

While the commercial projects continue, Benner said Greenstone also plans 10 to 15 more residential units to be built during 2012. Those will be townhouses or single-family units; prices will range from $150,000 to $500,000, Benner said.