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The Dirt: Work on affordable housing development in Hillyard set for early 2019

Spokane Housing Ventures will build 48 units of affordable housing in Hillyard beginning early next year, according to the organization’s executive director, Fred Peck.

The $10.2 million Jayne Auld Manor, 2830 E. Francis Ave., will include a three-story main building and five, two-story duplexes. In all, there will be 25 two-bedroom units and 23 three-bedroom units. The complex also will have a community garden and play structure, and it will primarily be aimed at the workforce population earning less than 60 percent of the area’s median income.

Spokane County’s median household income for a four-person house is about $65,000 a year.

The development is being built on 1.8 acres of vacant land near Harmon-Shipley Park and Arlington Elementary School.

The project is funded by the Washington Housing Trust Fund and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, as well as through a forgivable loan of $320,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a $388,850 Community Development Block Grant, also from HUD, which was used to help buy the land. It also qualifies for the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption.

The complex is named after Jayne Auld, the organization’s former executive director who died in 2016. Groundbreaking is expected in early 2019, and the complex will be completed in March 2020.

Spokane Housing Ventures was founded in 1992, and currently owns and operates 1,300 units of affordable rental units in ten Washington counties.

The project was designed by ZBA Architecture, of Spokane.

$1.8M building to house Drywall Specialties warehousing, office space

A $1.8 million, 20,000-square-foot building is being built across the street from the Esmeralda Golf Course in northeast Spokane.

The structure at 4201 N. Freya St. will be used mainly as a warehouse for Drywall Specialties, which is building the structure. More than 11,000 square feet is reserved for warehousing, and the remaining 7,000 square feet will be for the company’s offices. The building will take the entire block bounded by Freya, Rockwell Avenue, Rich Avenue and Ferral Street, according to documents filed with the city.

It will share the block with a large parking lot and an even bigger paved storage yard. The city is requiring the company to improve the frontage with Freya and Rich, including the paving of Rich, which is currently unpaved.

Jeff Miller, who with his sister, Tracy Miller, owns the business his father started in 1979, said it has outgrown its current location. Also, they started another business – Constructiv – that warranted the need for more space.

Constructiv builds premanufactured, modular structures with integrated technology, such as in-wall computers and televisions.

“Nothing is screwed to the wall. It’s all integrated in,” said Miller, adding that banks, schools and lawyers’ offices are the intended clients.

The new-building site sits directly adjacent to the future route of the North Spokane Corridor, and the nearest interchange with that highway is three blocks north at Wellesley Avenue.

Drywall Specialties purchased the site in April for $300,000. The company is currently located at at 5910 N. Freya St., north of its planned building.

The general contractor is DIVCON Inc., of Spokane Valley. It was designed by Architectural Ventures, also of Spokane Valley.

Historic Perry District grocery building

Work will begin soon to transform a historic grocery story into a modern cafe in the trendy South Perry district, after building permits were issued by the city.

The building at 1801 E. 11th Ave. was opened as a neighborhood grocery store in 1925 by William Woolsey on the northeast corner of 11th and Pittsburgh and operated for nearly 50 years before shutting its doors in 1974. It was used as a residence between 1974 and 2017.

The project, which is allowed under city rules encouraging redevelopment of former commercial spaces, is being done by Seattle-based InterUrban Development. The company purchased the building in December 2017 for $83,000.

City documents estimate the project’s value differently, with one estimating $220,000 and another $80,000.

The general contractor is Vanguard Contracting, of Spokane.

First tenant announced for renovated Wonder Building

An engineering company will be the first tenant in the Wonder Building, the old brick Wonder Bread bakery building near the Flour Mill on the northern fringe of downtown Spokane.

Seattle-based Parametrix will move from its current Spokane location, 106 W. Mission Ave., in December, and will occupy part of the second floor of the building, which is hurriedly racing toward completion.

During the past 17 months, the historic building at 821 W. Mallon Ave. has undergone vast transformation. The $15 million renovation has turned the bakery into a 112,000-square-foot space primed for offices, retail space and a market. A six-level parking garage being built on the same block will have nearly 400 stalls.


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