Facing a wall made of windows overlooking the intersection of Main Avenue and Wall Street in downtown Spokane, there comes a point when it’s impossible not to wonder: Is this where they used to sell perfume? Or was it watches?
The long-awaited opening of The M apartments in the former Macy’s building is so close, you can smell it, and it smells like paint. Crews are on every floor of the nine-story building, putting the finishing touches on the third and ninth floors, and still working toward getting the rest of the floors complete by fall.
The first residents of the upscale apartment building are expected to move in July 1, said Jennifer Hatton, marketing director for Centennial Properties. Many people already are applying, and preleasing has begun.
“I hope it brings energy downtown,” Hatton said. Centennial Properties is a subsidiary of the Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review and River Park Square. The company also recently converted the historic Chronicle newspaper building into apartments. “I think that we’ll lease them all as construction is completing this fall.”
The M units range in price from $1,350 to $3,000 a month, depending on size and view. They range from about 650 square feet to 1,700 square feet. Various floor plans for the building’s one- and two-bedroom units are each named for a park in Spokane. There are no studio apartments.
On the ninth floor, the building’s highest, four “penthouse” units face east. Though relatively small at 800 square feet, the open feel and commanding views of Riverfront Park, the University District and the South Hill make up for it. Each comes with a private deck and will rent for $3,000.
In all, the building will have 114 units, and each floor has communal space of some sort. There will be two fitness centers, two lounges, one business center and one yoga room. The basement has parking for 45 vehicles, and overflow parking for tenants will be in the River Park Square garage.
Many of the units will have decks, but not all. On the building’s east side, the preservation of historic features limited the possibilities for outdoor area.
Then there’s the roof deck, which is open to every tenant. The 5,000-square-foot space recently held a private party and easily held about 100 people, said Hatton, but it has capacity for up to 499 people. A large, shared kitchen adjoins the deck, and on the building’s north side an enclosed “view box” is still under construction.
“We’re not sure yet what it will be,” Hatton said. Regardless, the views are uncommon in downtown Spokane. The Shadle water tower peeks up from the treed neighborhoods of north Spokane. The U.S. Pavilion in the park stands front and center.
The opening of The M adds to downtown Spokane’s growing collection of some of the newest and most luxurious units in town. The Cooper-George Apartments went through a $7.5 million renovation and now hosts 144 units similar to The M’s apartments.
Unlike The M, which was a Bon Marche department store before it became a Macy’s, the Cooper-George opened in 1952 as high-end living for seniors that had two dining rooms, a grocery store, dry cleaner, beauty shop and doctor’s office. More recently, it acted as assisted-living housing for older people on Medicaid.
The Cooper-George is more affordable than The M, but lacks its central location, even if it is just south of Interstate 90. Rents for the building’s studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments range from $820 to $1,575.
On Thursday, the first tenant of The M, the Nike Factory Store, will open its doors.
To find out more information about The M, visit www.TheMApartments.com.