A vacant lot within walking distance of Gonzaga University soon will be the site of a four-story retail and apartment building geared toward graduate students and young professionals.
The 88,000-square-foot Matilda Building, 1002 N. Hamilton St., will feature three floors of upscale apartments above one floor of retail spaces. Developer Kent Hull said one business, an unnamed but “pretty well-known” coffee shop, intends to sign a lease for 5,000 square feet.
Hull is the managing partner of Iron Bridge LLC, the company behind the 21-acre Iron Bridge Office Campus east of downtown. He’s developing the Matilda Building for Ferdinand CJF LLC, an ownership group managed by Houston Stockton, of Spokane. Stockton is the son of former Gonzaga and NBA basketball star John Stockton.
The Matilda Building is named for John Stockton’s mother-in-law, Matilda Stepovich, who died in 2003 at age 81.
The 2-acre project will take up the city block bordered by Hamilton and Columbus streets and Desmet and Cataldo avenues. The building will occupy the west half of the block, situated along that stretch of Hamilton. The 57 apartments will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 850 to 1,650 square feet.
About 145 parking spots will take up the east half of the block, a portion of which will include a second-level parking deck. Drivers will enter the parking lot from Cataldo and Columbus.
Designers had to modify plans for the parking deck to accommodate a rental house on the northeast corner of the block. Ferdinand CJF bought and demolished the house beside it last summer but couldn’t strike a deal with the owner of the corner house.
“We just felt like we couldn’t get the price low enough to where it was responsible for us to buy the property,” Houston Stockton said.
Hull said a brick wall will be built around the corner parcel, 5 feet from the property line. The homeowner, Keith Gauthier, said that’s fine by him. He and his wife bought the house about 25 years ago and have long rented it out to college students. They’re not particularly attached, he said.
“We’ve always been open to selling it,” he said. “We just want more for it.”
The total cost of the Matilda project is estimated at $14 million. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 26, and Hull said the project should be completed by July 2016. Prospective tenants will begin signing leases a little sooner, he said.
Although it will be within walking distance of the Gonzaga campus, Hull said the building “won’t be student housing.” Rather, planners hope it will appeal to affluent young professionals and graduate students who work in the University District.
“It’s taken a long time to nail down what we want there,” said Houston Stockton, who has been involved in the project for about three years. “We thought about an office building at one point, and actually had a design, but it wasn’t the right time.”
“Essentially, we’re trying to improve the neighborhood,” he said.
The steel-and-concrete building will resemble nearby buildings with a brick facade. Designed to be environmentally friendly, it will be heated by 64 geothermal wells built into the foundation. Additionally, all stormwater will be collected for landscaping, and residents will take out their garbage and recyclables by tossing them into chutes that lead to two compactors in the basement.
Spokane Valley’s Divcon Inc. is the contractor on the project. McKinstry Co., based in Seattle, designed the electrical, heating and cooling systems. And the Spokane office of DCI Engineers Inc. handled structural and civil engineering.
The Matilda Building isn’t the first to be named after one of John Stockton’s relatives. Clementine Square, which opened in 2012 a block north on Hamilton, bears the name of his late mother.
“Clementine was his mother, my other grandmother,” Houston Stockton said. “We’re trying to get some family names out there. We’re putting all of our time and effort into the Matilda Building.”
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.