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Council OKs Anthony’s bid

City approves $3.9 million sale to restaurant

Anthony’s has been sold to Anthony’s.

The Spokane City Council voted 4-3 Monday afternoon to award the city-owned restaurant property overlooking the Spokane Falls to Bellevue-based Mad Anthony’s Restaurants for $3.9 million. That’s the same company that leases the building for its Anthony’s seafood restaurant.

Selling the parcel hasn’t been controversial; the council earlier this year unanimously voted to accept bids. But some council members thought the second-highest offer deserved more consideration.

Budd Gould, founder and co-owner of Mad Anthony’s, said he was relieved that the sale is completed and that the restaurant’s 80 employees won’t have to look for new jobs.

“We looked at it as preserving a successful business,” said Gould, who lives in Kirkland and attended Monday’s meeting.

Mad Anthony’s has leased the building at 520 N. Post Street from the city for $10,000 a month since 2004.

The restaurant chain owns 27 restaurants. Most are in Washington.

Spokane Mayor David Condon unveiled plans earlier this year to sell unneeded property. The Anthony’s site is most likely the highest-profile of the parcels to be sold.

Lawrence Stone submitted the second-highest bid – a $3.6 million offer as part of a plan to combine the restaurant building with the adjacent former YWCA property, which he bought in 2010, into a commercial and residential development.

Stone owns SCAFCO, a Spokane-based manufacturer of silos and steel studs that is poised to open operations at the former Playfair property in East Spokane.

Councilman Jon Snyder said the property represents one of the last major opportunities for a substantial development on the shores of Spokane Falls.

“I guess I couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t slow this down,” Snyder said.

Council President Ben Stuckart criticized the administration for not completing an in-depth analysis previous to recommending that the council choose Anthony’s.

Jan Quintrall, Spokane’s business and developer services director, said Mad Anthony’s was the preferred choice because the firm bid higher and had a complete plan. Stone’s bid, she said, didn’t have many specifics.

She said the administration will work to include the council in more of the bidding processes in future property sales.

Supporters of the decision said selling to Anthony’s doesn’t rule out a larger development project in the future.

“This decision doesn’t prevent Mr. Stone from working with Anthony’s,” said Councilman Mike Allen.

The city purchased the land in the 1990s with a federal grant to make room for a Spokane River bridge that was never built.

About $3 million of the sale will go to the city’s arterial street fund.

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