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Two historic downtown Spokane building renovations nearly done

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Restoration and renovation are more than halfway done at two downtown Spokane buildings, including the former Empire State Building.

Part of the work at the Great Western Building, at 905 W. Riverside, includes renaming it the Empire State Building, the structure’s original designation. Built in 1900, it’s was called the city’s first fireproof structure. In recent years it's been known as the Great Western Building, at the corner of Lincoln and Riverside. 

Work includes removing the stucco sign band façade above the first floor and exposing the original “Empire State” name. You can see the stucco and sign facade in the Google Maps view above (if it displays properly for you).

Goebel Construction is the contractor with architectural help by Patsy O'Connor.

A new skylight has also been installed, said Alicia Barbieri. Both projects are overseen by Goodale & Barbieri Co.

The Michaels Building, one block away at 828 W. Sprague, is completing interior and exterior work. It was first called the Germond Block Building. The top three floors have been converted from apartments to offices, with final plans depending on tenants.

Goodale and Barbieri owns the Great Western Building; the Diamond Family owns the Michaels.

No renovation costs were provided by the two firms.

Ace Hardware will take former location of Jones Pharmacy

View Larger Map South Hill Spokane development update: Ace Hardware will open a new South Hill location this summer, taking the former spot of Jones Pharmacy, at 906 S. Monroe. It’s near the Huckleberry’s Natural Market.

This will be the first Ace store opened in Spokane by franchisee Mitchell Hardware Inc. The company has four other Ace Hardwares in the Northwest.

Extensive remodeling is being done to the 15,660 square-foot building; an outdoor garden center will be added on the north side of the building.

David and Eric Peterson, of Goodale & Barbieri Co., negotiated a long-term lease with Mitchell on behalf of the LLC that owns the property. 

The owner is also remodeling 2,200 feet on the second level. David Peterson said further work will be done on that level if a tenant is found. Workers will also modernize the facades of other tenants in the shopping area, said David Peterson.

A new downtown restaurant, Ciao Mambo, coming to the Lincoln Plaza building

A Montana company plans to open a Ciao Mambo restaurant in the ground level corner of the Lincoln Plaza building, a Spokane development firm announced Monday.

The new restaurant, part of the Glacier Restaurant Group based in Whitefish, Mont., will open in January. It’s expected to hire 75 workers, a company spokesman said.

Goodale & Barbieri Co. President Tom Barbieri said his group spent roughly two years finding the right lessee to take over the 4,000-square-foot corner spot of the nine-level building, at the corner of Riverside and Lincoln in downtown Spokane.

The Italian restaurant and lounge will use about 1,200-square feet in the outdoor plaza, Barbieri added.

Barbieri said the challenge was locating a firm with the needed management experience and financial stability to run a restaurant in that building.

“We either had people with enough capitalization but no experience running restaurants. Or people with experience who weren’t capitalized,” he said. 

Cory Barbieri handled the transaction.

Ciao Mambo has several restaurants in Montana and one, according to its website, in Hayden.