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Kendall Yards

Site preparation and utility work proceeds on the 77-acre Kendall Yards site in February 2008. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

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When developer Marshall Chesrown purchased 77 acres of real estate near downtown Spokane in 2004, a vision was born. Kendall Yards would be a mixed-use “urban village,” drawing residents to the heart of the city and boosting business. After several years of groundwork and financing setbacks, new developers have taken over the project.

Plans emerged in 2006 for a major development on the land, purchased during Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co.’s bankruptcy auction. The initial proposal for the site north of the Spokane River and west of Monroe Street showed high-end residential units; up to 1 million square feet of office and retail space; high-rise buildings; and Centennial Trail connections.

Developers completed a
costly environmental cleanup
and drew up plans to handle a surge in traffic. Residents of West Central and other neighborhoods voiced concerns and support. And in September 2006, the city examiner approved Kendall Yards. The City Council would later OK special tax financing despite prominent objections.

As the economy began to falter in 2008, the project ground to a halt. Chesrown closed the downtown Kendall Yards offices, and the site was used for parking.

In late 2009, home builder Greenstone Corp. bought the property and promoted scaled-back plans that kept the mixed-use philosophy but reduced the number and cost of the housing units. Work on those units began in April 2010.

The development may deliver a full-service grocery store by Thanksgiving 2012. One to three office buildings and more housing also are planned next year. Greenstone is working with city officials to reduce long-term parking on streets in commercial portions of Kendall Yards and to extend the Centennial Trail through the project.

Updated Sept. 29, 2011.

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A rendition shows how the Highline Lofts at Kendall Yards will look

More stuff on the expansion of commercial properties at Kendall Yards, the big development just west of downtown Spokane.

Three new buildings are on the drawing boards; two are restaurants (whose names and owners have not been announced); a third is the Highline Lofts. It will be built generally across the street from Central Food, the first commercial building in Kendall Yards, a residential-commercial development operated by Greenstone Corp.

Work is just starting on the Lofts, which we're featuring here in a rendering. It will be about 27,000 square feet of retail on the main floor and two floors of apartments. It's expected to open next spring, with rents offered at market rates.

If you want to see a map for the site location, open the PDF document link just below this text box.


Documents:

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

Blaine’s Central Food now open

Over in Kendall Yards, amid a sea of new construction, David Blaine's new restaurant Central Food is beginning to open.

Central Food opened today, and will have limited hours this week as the staff tests menu items, learns the new computer system and generally work out the kinks, Blaine said. Through Friday, Central Food will be open for breakfast and lunch, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, the restaurant will be open for dinner service from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Next week, Blaine said, they'll work on offering all three meals.

Blaine, who was the head chef at Latah Bistro, told The Spokesman-Review this summer he thought the Kendall Yards  was the city's most exciting development, and he couldn't pass up the opportunity to open his first restaurant there.

The building, at 1335 W. Summit Parkway, is brand new. The restaurant sports that industrial vibe that's popular now. The walls are painted in gray and blue tones. The floor is concrete. There are gleaming metal pipes and vents above the open kitchen. But wooden table tops and accents help bring warmth to the space, and the large south-facing windows let in plenty of light and offer nice views of west donwtown, Browne's Addition and Peaceful Valley. The restaurant will seat 70 when it is fully open.

My colleague and I walked over for lunch today, and we ended up building our meals from the small plate offerings. She went vegetarian, with roasted Brussels sprouts, skillet potatoes and molé lentils. I was feeling British, and went with the Scotch eggs and the meat pie. It was all delicious. Best of all, we had prompt and attentive service - good news for a restaurant on its first day.

Three curry chocolate mini cupcakes came back to the office in a box, awaiting afternoon snack time.

Blaine said he expects to have the formal grand opening sometime around Black Friday, which is Nov. 23 this year. Stay tuned.

David Blaine launches soft opening of Kendall Yards restaurant


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Today marks the soft opening of Central Food, the new eatery in Kendall Yards. Central Food is the only current eatery in Kendall Yards, the large mixed-use development on the north side of the Spokane River west of the Monroe Street Bridge.

Chef David Blaine has been putting together the new business in the Cedar Plaza building directly north of the state Court of Appeals. Formal address is 1335 W. Summit Parkway (315-3086).

Blaine, the former chef at Latah Bistro, hasn't said when the formal opening will be. This week's launch is all about testing the kitchen, tuning the dishes and working out service concerns.

Our last story about Central Food was in August.  Our announcement story ran June 7. Blaine said the restaurant is still hiring.

Greenstone is the developer of the Kendall Yards project.

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.”

Here’s how the future home of Central Food looks during construction

Not to overdo it, but we should have included an image with yesterday's story and post on Central Food, going into the Cedar Plaza building in the Kendall Yards project just west of downtown Spokane.

Here's what it looks like at this point. Construction is expected to run through September. Central Food, the eatery being set up by David Blaine, will take the back 3,000 square feet.

Photo by the Office Hours staff photographer.

What’s in the name Central Food? Chef Blaine’s cautious restaurant moniker

Kind of big news on the local food business front:

Spokane chef David Blaine announced he'll open Central Food, a new restaurant in the first commercial building in the Kendall Yards mixed use development.

This is the big project being done by Greenstone Commercial along the Spokane River, in the area west of the Monroe Street Bridge. Greenstone took over the project after developer Marshall Chesrown bailed.

Blaine has done restaurants and selective cuisine for more than 20 years. He's going to use 3,000 square feet in a building just south of the state Court of Appeals.

It's the first chef-owned place that Blaine has attempted. For the past seven year's he's been head chef for Spokane eatery Latah Bistro.

He said “I don’t think I’d be able to live with myself if I passed on that location.” He said he considers the Kendall Yards mixed-use development one of the city’s most dynamic projects.

“It has so much energy behind it. I can’t think of any downsides to doing this,” he added.

He expects to hire about 25 people and open the restaurant in December.

“At this point, I have more questions than answers,” he said, about the full scope of the cuisine, the thematic focus and how he intends to market the business.
  

Chef David Blaine bringing Central Food to Kendall Yards

Here's the reason outspoken local chef David Blaine has been mum on speculation about the first restaurant planned for Kendall Yards: He's behind it.

Blaine told my colleague Tom Sowa he's opening the new restaurant in the Cedar Street Park Building south of the State Court of Appeals. He'll call it Central Food.

Blaine told The Spokesman-Review he wanted to avoid labels such as “bistro” or “cafe.” He said the guiding principle will be seasonal ingredients.

It will be the first time Blaine has owned a restaurant. He has been the head chef at Latah Bistro for the last seven years and has worked more than 20 years at restaurants in the Spokane area.

His passion has been increasing the use of produce from local farmers and food from local ranchers, a sensibility that is sure to follow him to the new restaurant.

Here's the story for more details.

Open House weekend features Kendall Yards townhome, 500 others in area

It's “open house” weekend in Spokane, with Realtors hosting open house events Saturday and Sunday at more than 500 homes on the market.

The event sponsor is Greenstone Homes, which has the “headquarters house” at the development company's Kendall Yards project on the north bank of the Spokane River near downtown. The fully­-staged townhome is at 408 N. Elm St., west of the Maple Street Bridge.

People visiting any of the open houses this weekend can register to win a $1,500 gift certificate from The Tin Roof. The winner will be announced Wednesday.

All of the open houses can be found at spokaneopen.com.

Here’s a look at the first two Kendall Yards office buildings (with restaurant)

Today's business news story is an update on progress at the near-downtown mixed use development, Kendall Yards. (Story may require Spokesman.com access to read it in its entirety.)

The project has, up to now, been focused exclusively on building out the residential half of the project. About 60 units have been built and sold to date.

Now the company behind the project, Greenstone Corp., is starting two new commercial buildings. The first, in the rendering above, is the building on the left. It's called the Cedar Street Park Commercial Building.  A restaurant will fill the side facing the river.

The second commercial building is the one on the far right. It will be a two-story — plus daylight basement — office building, with no tenants yet announced. The two other buildings between those are also on the drawing boards, but will not move forward until some tenants/owners are lined up, said project manager Adam Jones.

Renderings come from Spokane's nystrom + olson architecture.

Council eases tax subsidy rules for Kendall Yards

Tax subsidies will flow to Kendall Yards even if the developer of the 78-acre project does not seek public bids on construction of streets, sewers and other public infrastructure.

The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 6-1 to amend the tax-increment financing agreement it has with Kendall Yards to make the change.

Councilman Jon Snyder said state rules that he supports which prevent tax money for schools from being diverted to development make Washington’s tax-increment financing program less effective.

Allowing Greenstone to forgo public bidding is “a creative way to solve that challenge,” Snyder said. “We’re talking about a piece of dirt that has resisted development for 40 years.”

Kendall Yards is a highly-anticipated residential and commercial development on the north bank of the Spokane River in the West Central neighborhood. The land used to be the home to railroad tracks that were torn out as part of urban redevelopment related to Expo ’74.

Kendall Yards building Monroe access

Residents of Kendall Yards may have direct access to Monroe Street by the end of the year, weather-permitting, Wayne Frost said today.

The vice president of Greenstone Corp.’s commercial division said Ide Ave., which connects with Monroe just north of the Spokane River bridge, will be obliterated, as will the retaining wall supporting the sidewalk on its south side.

Some of that work, which includes the installation of water, sewer and other utilities, has already been done or is under way, he said.

In place of Ide, Frost said, Greenstone will build an extension of Bridge Ave. west from Monroe to a new section of Jefferson St. Jefferson will link Broadway Ave. to Summit Parkway, the main street of Kendall Yards.

The parkway will eventually run all the way through the development to Summit Blvd. on its west end, he said, but construction this fall will take the new road west only as far as Elm, where the first homes are being built.

Drivers on Bridge will have to yield to stop signs as they approach Monroe, he said.

Tree planting revives Kendall Yards

With the planting of a tree, developer Jim Frank today revived the Kendall Yards development on the north bank of the Spokane River.

The first 18 units of the $25 million residential and commercial project, stalled by the financial problems of the previous developer, should be ready by the end of summer, Frank told a crowd of more than 100 gathered on the site between Bridge and Ohio avenues.

He said more Phase 1 units would also be underway, but street access is not yet available.

Four of the units have been pre-sold, and the buyers were enthusiastic about their future homes and the proximity to downtown.

“The developers have really done their homework,” said Gene Decheff, who with wife Cheryl will move into a two-bedroom townhouse, a radical down-sizing from their 10 acres on the West Plains.

Spokane City Council approves tax exemptions for Kendall Yards

The eventual owners of 279 proposed residences in Kendall Yards will not have to pay property taxes on new construction for 12 years.

The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 5-0 to accept Greenstone Corp.’s application for multifamily tax exemptions on the portion of Kendall Yards west of Maple Street. Kendall Yards is a 78-acre development west of Monroe Street, just north of the Spokane River. About 200 residences east of Maple Street are eligible for exemptions as well, but Greenstone has not yet applied for them.