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Genesee Block revamp to yield retail space, apartments

Scott Kennedy, of Craven Company, steps down into a sidewalk vault as structural engineer Craig Crowley, rear, strolls past the Genesee Block, 819 and 821 W. Riverside Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. The storefronts were recently torn down and will be replaced by more period-appropriate ones. The vaults will be filled in with gravel. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Scott Kennedy, of Craven Company, steps down into a sidewalk vault as structural engineer Craig Crowley, rear, strolls past the Genesee Block, 819 and 821 W. Riverside Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. The storefronts were recently torn down and will be replaced by more period-appropriate ones. The vaults will be filled in with gravel. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

A historic building had some not-so-historic storefronts ripped from its facade this week, preparation for two leasable spaces expected to open as early as this winter.

The two, 2,000-square-foot retail spaces in the Genesee Block, built in 1892 at 819 and 821 W. Riverside Ave., have full basements. One of them includes a mezzanine. The building will also include four high-end apartments upstairs, each around 930 square feet.

Mike Craven, president of the Craven Company, the project’s developer and general contractor, said the apartments will be available to rent in January, but he hasn’t determined the monthly price.

Craven said the retail units are available for lease but he has no tenants yet. He said they could accommodate a restaurant or a “soft goods” retailer selling items such as clothing and bedding. The 125-year-old building is one of the few remaining structures built in the years just after the Great Fire of 1889 and has had many different tenants over the years. They include a grocery and dry goods store, a hat maker, Carlson Furs, Mister Lee’s Spokane Beauty School and a Subway sandwich restaurant.

The rehabilitation was previously reported to be a $700,000 project, but a fire set in the building in November, which appeared to be arson, set the project back in time and cost. Craven declined to disclose the project’s current cost, but said the fire did no permanent damage. The storefronts will be replaced with others that look more historic, Craven said.

Spokane-based Uptic Studios did the architecture. The structural engineering was done by DCI Engineers, also of Spokane.

More storage for StanCraft

Rivelle LLC, has been issued permits by the city of Hayden for $565,000 to build three storage buildings for StanCraft Boat Co.

The buildings at 2936 W. Dakota Ave. will be 12,000 square feet each.

StanCraft was founded in 1933 in Montana and manufactures wooden boats. In its first decades, the business focused on refurbishing boats and only built a few new watercraft a year. In 1981, the Hollywood film “On Golden Pond” featured wooden boats, leading to a surge in popularity for the watercraft and an uptick in business for the company, which moved to Coeur d’Alene the same year the film was released.

In 2016, the company moved to Hayden and a new $2.4 million headquarters, which has nearly 30,000 square feet for offices, manufacturing and operations. StanCraft has separate buildings on the same property for repair and storage.

The project’s general contractor is House of Gold LLC.

Bank to install new heating, cooling system

Washington Trust Bank has been issued permits for $1 million of work replacing the heating and cooling system on its operations center on the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Post Street.

According to city permit data, the building’s original heating and ventilation system will be replaced with a new outdoor air system with a new water boiler and distribution pump.

The building at 176 S. Post St. is more than 26,000 square feet in size and was built in 1989. The project’s engineering is being done by L and S Engineering, of Spokane.


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