The offices of Spokane’s defunct afternoon newspaper soon will be renovated into apartments, the company that owns the building announced this week.
The top four floors of the six-story Chronicle Building, 926 W. Sprague Ave., will be converted into 32 units starting next week, said Doug Yost, director of real estate investments for Centennial Properties. The project should be complete by February.
“There’s a need for downtown residential,” Yost said.
The building opened in 1928 and was home to the Spokane Daily Chronicle as well as the newspaper presses and linotype machines of the Chronicle and The Spokesman-Review.
Chronicle apartments will range in size from 668 to 1,200 square feet. Twenty units will have one bedroom and one bathroom. The other 12 will have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Residents will have access to the building’s rooftop, with its close-up views of the building’s gargoyles, Yost said.
Yost declined to say how much the renovations to the building will cost.
Mark Richard, president of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, said there’s currently a stronger demand for housing than for office space downtown. A study released last winter showed the residential vacancy rate downtown was less than 2 percent, he said.
Two floors that will be remodeled into apartments have been vacant since last year when the accounting firm Eide Bailly moved into the connected Review Building. The Rypien Foundation also is moving to the Review Building. A law firm will move out this summer, Yost said.
Centennial is a subsidiary of the Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review and River Park Square. The project will be Centennial’s first apartments. The Chronicle Building has an assessed value of $4.8 million.
The announcement follows the renovation of the adjacent courtyard on Sprague Avenue last year. That project moved a sculpture by Harold Balazs from the back of the courtyard into a new fountain and created outdoor seating for the Nodland Cellars Wine Tasting Room, which opened on the first floor of the Chronicle Building this year. The courtyard also is used by Tamarack Public House.
The untitled Balazs sculpture from 1974 originally was housed at River Park Square.
Apartments weren’t planned when the courtyard was renovated, but the company determined that “if we could redevelop the courtyard and activate it, it would create a more vibrant building,” Yost said.
The Chronicle ceased publication in 1992. Its newsroom was on the fourth floor and the linotype machines were on the third.
Newspaper presses were on the first floor in space that remains for lease.
Yost said the company hopes to find a restaurant to lease the space where the presses were located.
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