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Still for sale: downtown Masonic Temple and Huppin’s, each for over $1 million

You can find all sorts of available commercial properties for sale in the downtown Spokane core.

Go to http://www.commercialmls.com/ and search just the 99201 zipcode and you'll find about 40 listings.

Two that caught our eye were already well-known: the downtown Masonic Temple at 1108  W. Riverside and the former Huppin's retail building, at 421 W. Main. Both buildings are part of early 20th century Spokane history.

The Huppins building is listed for $1.4 million, and is represented by NAI Black.

The historic Masonic Temple building — a sprawling 109,000 square feet of space — is listed for $1.75 million, which comes down to a measly $16 per square foot. It's also represented by brokers from NAI Black.

We'll keep track of the downtown real estate clicker and watch for sales of some of those 40 properties.

Murray Huppin will recount the ride that made Huppin’s a major brand

How did Spokane's Huppins become a major national electonics retailer? 

Company CEO and President Murray Huppin will talk about the company's four-generation history and growth at the next Executive Connect Breakfast, at 7:30 a.m. March 22.

The event is at the Spokane Club's Georgian Ballroom.

Consumers today think of Huppins and its online site, OneCall, as an established electronics brand. The company's early roots, however, were in clothing retail and pawnbroking.

Huppin's moved into electronics completely in the 1970s, and launched OneCall in 1994.

OneCall was ranked in Internet Retailer’s Top 20 Consumer Electronics retailer web sites of 2008. Tickets are $30 and can be bought at the Connect Northwest registration page.


Huppin’s stores load up up their inventory of Apple’s hot iPads

Murray Huppin, president of Spokane-based electronics retailer Huppin's Hi-Fi, Photo and Video, has a happy look on his face, and it has nothing to do with Hoopfest.

Huppin has two stores in the Spokane area and both are doing good business in an otherwise challenging retail economy. 

The newer, North Division Huppin's store opened in October and has outsold the downtown site every month since. Huppin won't say what the share of total sales each store has.

The two Huppin's stores last year became  "Apple specialist" retailers.

As he's done when stocking other consumer products,  Huppin looks for ways to buy large volume lots to offer deals to customers. The iPad doesn't allow a lot of price cutting, but the two Huppin's stores clearly have a wide range of product choices for that popular tablet. 

Huppin said the two stores now have more than 150 iPad 2s in their inventory. He implies that's pretty impressive for a store that only started carrying Apple products seven months ago.

The stores also carry 15 of the 18 different iPad choices (covering color, memory, Wi-Fi/3G or AT&T/Verizon) that are available. 

He admits having iPads help bring in customers in an otherwise very moderate retail landscape.

"Any retailer really has to offer a compelling reason to purchase today," Huppin said.

Huppin’s opens doors and starts selling Apple products in Spokane

The new North Division Huppin’s store formally opens tomorrow, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m.

The newly remodeled location, at 8016 N. Division, will feature plenty of HDTVs, cameras, audio gear, camcorders, headphones and home theater systems.

It will also start selling Apple products. Huppin’s President Murray Huppin worked for most of the past year to sign a reseller deal that allows his company to sell just about everything Apple makes except iPads and iPhones.

Apple opened its own retail store in downtown Spokane in September. Huppin said that had no effect on his effort to become an Apple reseller.  Apple already has two area retail resellers – Best Buy, and Strong Solutions — both of which sell a full line of Apple computers, iPhones and iPads.

Huppin’s two stores will both sell Apple products. However its nationwide online service, OneCall, will not, Huppin said.

The deal came about as Huppin’s wanted to bring to its customers the smart and nifty devices that have made Apple the most valuable tech company in the world. Huppin said he believes Apple forged the deal in part because Huppin’s customers see the Spokane home-grown company as an innovator and clear leader in consumer electronics retailing.

New Huppin’s Hi-Fi store on N. Division opens on Nov. 5

The new Huppin’s Hi-Fi, Photo & Video location, on North Division, will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony the morning of Nov. 5.

The store is an upgraded version of the company’s downtown retail location. Interactive displays and demonstrations of digital products and home entertainment systems will be the main focus of the new store. It will include a new product center devoted to headphones.

The new store has about 8,000 square feet of selling space, said company president Murray Huppin.

Stay tuned to Office Hours, as there will be a few other details added about the opening between now and then.


Spokane retailer Huppin’s announces plans for North Side store

Spokane’s prospering electronics retail company, Huppin’s Hi-Fi, Photo & Video announced on Monday it plans to add a second store, at 8016 N. Division.  (Rendering by John Rovtar Design)

This will mark only the second retail outlet in the 102-year history of the company.

At one time Murray Huppin, the CEO and president of the company, said he considered other options and other locations. Eventually he decided to focus on the growing north Spokane corridor.

The new site is north of the North Division Costco and is a joint retail development with Mark Lax and Joel Huppin, the cousin of Murray Huppin. Lax is owner of Pawn 1, which will use part of the new building for expanded operations. The building will have space for one or more other retail tenants, Huppin said.