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Credit union moving to historic downtown building

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 8, 2013, 4:53 p.m.

Tom Johnson is the president and CEO of STCU.  (Dan Pelle)
A 1901 photo of May Arkwright Hutton, seated on the tracks with a checked scarf, in front of the Hercules Mine in the Coeur d'Alenes. Also pictured, left to right, are Tom Harlow, Miss Markwell, Jerome Day, Levi Hutton, Miss Hadeen and Miss Myrtle White, and an unidentified man at right. August Paulsen is standing in the rear holding the camp cat. (The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Teachers Credit Union is turning a foreclosed property into one of its most prominent buildings.

The credit union announced today that it will move its commercial lending operations to the Hutton Building, which it owns as a result of a foreclosure last year.

The seven-story Hutton Building, 9 S. Washington St., is valued at $3.5 million by Spokane County. It was built in 1907.

Credit union President and CEO Tom Johnson said that the credit union was running out of space for its commercial lending department at its current leased space at the Schade Brewery building near the Riverpoint Campus.

Since it already owned the building and the credit union desired to keep commercial lending offices in downtown Spokane, the Hutton Building was an ideal choice to help it expand, Johnson said.

The credit union will use the top two floors of the Hutton Building as well as some space on the ground floor for a branch.

Much of the rest of the building will become business condominiums.

“There aren’t many options in Spokane for small businesses to own space,” Johnson said.

Credit union spokeswoman Traci McGlathery said the credit union may have to move some tenants within the building, but there are no immediate plans that would require any to move elsewhere.

The building previously was owned by Selkirk Trading, which was run by Rob Brewster, a one-time prominent developer of historic buildings in Spokane. Only half the building was leased when Selkirk Trading filed for bankruptcy last year, according to a statement Brewster filed in federal court. Attempts made to reach Brewster were unsuccessful on Friday. Selkirk Trading purchased the building in 2001. Spokane Teachers Credit Union has held the loan on the building since 2003, according to court records.

The building was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983. It was financed by Levi “Al” and May Arkwright Hutton, who lived in the penthouse of the building from 1907 to 1915, according to the national registry nomination form for the building. The couple’s wealth came from the Hercules Mine in the Silver Valley. May Hutton was a prominent suffragist. The couple donated the land for Lincoln Park on the South Hill

Johnson said the building “has been neglected a bit” in recent years. He said elevator systems and other parts of the building will be updated before offices are moved into the building in May or June.

“We certainly are going to treat it with respect,” Johnson said.

The Hutton Building will be home to the credit union’s 17th branch. Headquarters will remain in Liberty Lake.

Reporter Tom Sowa contributed to this report.

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