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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

First phase of Kendall Yards Centennial Trail work starts Monday

The anticipated start of construction of the new Kendall Yards segment of the Centennial Trail started today, according to the Kendall Yards Facebook page.

This is part of the Greenstone company's commitment to make the mixed-use near-downtown development a fully integrated part of the riverbank on the north side of the Spokane River.

Phase one of the work goes from under the Monroe Street Bridge to the Osprey Nest Plaza, just west of Central Food.

The embedded video here was shot with Jim Frank, head of Greenstone.

Spa Paradiso looks to open the end of April, taking new digs in Kendall Yard

Valentine's Day related business item. Spa Paradiso, last seen in the basement of the downtown Spokane Davenport Hotel, plans on reopening in a new location in Kendall Yards the end of April.

The full-service spa and salon has been closed since fall 2012. It originally hoped to open in a new commercial building in the Kendall Yards development on Dec. 1. Project managers however didn't finish the building that early.

The spa will take half of the 13,000-square foot two-story building due east of the Cedar Plaza building, which houses Central Food. The other tenant in the new building is The Inlander newspaper.

The building will be the second commercial building at Kendall Yards, a Greenstone multiuse development west of the Monroe Street Bridge and north of the river.

Co-owner Larry Schoonover said he'll start booking appointments in early April. The company will have around 35 employees.

They will lease about half of a 13,000-square-foot, two-story building due west of the new Cedar Plaza Building. A second unidentified tenant will take the other half of the space.

The new commercial building is part of the 78-acre Kendall Yards development, a project of Greenstone Corp. So far more than 140 residential units have been sold or are under construction

Yes, there’s a new construction rebound. But will it carry through 2012?

The SR and Spokesman.com featured a business story today on the rising hope that the area's housing market is coming back.

Today's Washington Post had the exact same idea today. Here's its take, which is nearly identical to the SR story, in terms of why people care about new home construction:

New homes are popping up in more and more neighborhoods around the country in recent months, offering one of the most promising signs yet that the nation’s long-suffering housing market is actually starting to heal.

The increase in new home construction is particularly encouraging because of the economic benefits that ripple out each time a construction crew breaks ground. The growing demand for new homes has put contractors back to work, helped shore up some municipal budgets and pumped money into local economies.

“When you create jobs again in the housing market, you create some multiple of those jobs elsewhere,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist at Metrostudy, a national research firm that tracks new home construction. “To build a house, you’re causing more demand for lumber, furniture, drapes, carpets, cement, steel, appliances . . . These are all industries that get stimulated by housing.”

Today’s highlights

Kenai  is escorted by SCRAPS volunteer coordinator Francine Moniz to a kennel. Chances are good that Kenai will find her way home. She had both SpokAnimal and personal ID tags with a phone number, as well as a microchip. SR phot/J. Bart Rayniak

In today's Valley Voice, the Spokane Country Regional Animal Protection Service will lose its after  hours drop off room in January. People have been dropping off animals from other counties and abandoning pets there. The agency is also cramped for space and needs the room.

SCORE, a non-profit agency that helps local businesses, helped the owners of a Liberty Lake pet boutique open their doors. Also, former Spokane Valley city councilman Dick Denenny will be given the 2010 Citizen of the Year award in January by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

There is also some Valley news in the main paper today. Reporter Bert Caldwell writes that Greenstone Development Co. and its owner, Jim Frank, have been fined by the Department of Ecology for removing trees from a protected shoreline area at Liberty Lake. Frank is disputing the fine.