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Worthys purchase site of new downtown hotel

Spokane hoteliers Walt and Karen Worthy have concluded the purchase of the downtown parcel where they intend to build a 15-floor convention center hotel and parking lot.

The Worthys initially agreed to the land purchase in August; they had 60 days to conclude the deal.

In Thursday’s announcement, the property owner – the Spokane Public Facilities District – said the Worthys will pay $6.67 million for the 120,000-square-foot lot, directly south of the INB Performing Arts Center.

The site was most recently used as a 300-stall parking lot.

The new hotel, which will be the largest in the area, is part of efforts by city leaders to make downtown Spokane more attractive for conventions and corporate gatherings.

It’s expected to be open in July 2015.

Current plans say the hotel will have 721 rooms and 900 covered parking spaces. The PFD will own 300 of the 900 parking spots and is assured of an annual payment of $400,000, along with future increases based on prevailing rates.

Tom Sowa

Dell shareholders agree to founder’s buyout offer

ROUND ROCK, Texas – Dell Inc. will end its quarter-century history as a publicly traded company and try to engineer a turnaround away from the prying eyes of Wall Street following shareholders’ approval Thursday of a $24.8 billion buyout offer from the company’s founder.

At the end of a shareholders meeting Thursday, Dell officials said that based on preliminary results, there were enough votes in favor of CEO Michael Dell’s buyout proposal. The company did not immediately announce the tally.

“This is a great outcome for our customers and our company,” Michael Dell said in a conference call with investors.

30-, 15-year mortgage rates holding steady

WASHINGTON – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages held steady this week, hovering near two-year highs. But rates could change quickly next week when the Federal Reserve addresses its bond purchase program.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan was unchanged from last week at 4.57 percent, just below the two-year high of 4.58 percent reached Aug. 22.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage held at 3.59 percent. The two-year high of 3.60 percent was hit on Aug. 22.

Long-term mortgage rates have risen more than a full percentage point since May, when Chairman Ben Bernanke first signaled that the Fed could reduce its bond purchases this year.

Most analysts expect the Fed to decide at its meeting next week to scale back its bond purchases.

The 10-year note’s rate was 2.92 percent on Wednesday, down from 2.97 percent Tuesday but up from 2.89 percent a week earlier.

Fires prompt recall of dehumidifiers

WASHINGTON – More than 2 million dehumidifiers are being recalled after dozens of reports of fires and more than $2 million in property damage.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire. They were manufactured by Gree Electric Appliances and carried the brand names of Danby, De’Longhi, Fedders, Fellini, Frigidaire, Gree, Kenmore, Norpole, Premiere, Seabreeze, SoleusAir and SuperClima.

The dehumidifiers have been linked to 46 fires and $2.15 million in property damage. No injuries have been reported.

They were sold nationwide at major retailers including Home Depot, Kmart and Lowe’s between January 2005 and August of this year.

Consumers should immediately turn off and unplug the dehumidifiers and contact Gree at (866) 853-2802 for a refund.