A long-term care provider received Washington state's permission to build a 120-bed nursing home in south Spokane in spite of operating a facility that had the worst record in the county for resident care during the past year. Franklin Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center, a north Spokane nursing home operated by Extendicare Health Services Inc., had extensive care deficiencies for the second straight year, resulting in enforcement actions by the state Department of Social and Health Services and the federal government.
NAC Architecture is building a $2.7 million addition to its headquarters at Riverside Avenue and Jefferson Street in Spokane. The three-story addition will add 10,000 square feet to the company's three-story brick building, said Dana Harbaugh, a principal in the company.
Operators of some adult family homes in Washington say they are struggling to afford state mandated professional liability insurance. The insurance is required for about 2,200 adult family homes across the state that have contracts to care for low-income elderly and disabled people on Medicaid. The homes are licensed for two to six residents each and operate as small businesses, while providing 24-hour care.
Black Rock Development is building an exclusive camp for kids of parents who belong to The Club at Black Rock. Kootenai Camp, a fantasyland for the young, will include a manmade fishing lake, a secret agent-like zip line that traverses the lake and outings that include scavenger hunts by boat and day trips to Silverwood Theme Park.
The YMCA and YWCA are hosting a groundbreaking to kick off construction of their new central Spokane campus. Demolition on the old Big Brothers and Big Sisters Bingo hall that occupies the site at 930 N. Monroe St. has begun, said Trish McFarland, campaign manager for the project.
A Spokane Valley retirement complex devoted to healthy living is opening in mid-November. Evergreen Fountains Senior Living Community, on Evergreen Road off Interstate 90, has six cottages, 75 independent apartments and 25 additional units catering to residents needing assisted living services.
The thousand-gallon aquarium is gone, the fishing tackle a thing of the past. White's Boots, a 102-year-old Spokane sporting goods store, is headed in a different direction. Although the company's sales have grown by 11 percent for two straight years, the fishing gear wasn't profitable, said Gary March, president and CEO of White's Boots. When he assessed how to best compete with the newly arrived Cabela's and other big-box retailers, it became obvious which way to go. Boots have always been the mainstay of the company, located near the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. So White's Boots is doing a $250,000 remodel that will add both retail and manufacturing space. Instead of looking at bass and walleye in an aquarium, customers will be able to watch boots being crafted by hand.
Residents have appealed a recent decision by the city of Spokane that could open the door for more big-box stores on the South Hill. The group appeared before Hearing Examiner Greg Smith on Tuesday, challenging the process used to evaluate whether changing the zoning of a 12- and a 15-acre parcel on Regal Street, south of Palouse Highway, would adversely affect the traffic flow and environment.
Local developer Dick Vandervert is building a $6 million office complex that will boast views of a man-made lake and become home to his construction company. Preliminary work has begun on the three-story Wandermere Professional Building, which is being built on the northeast corner of Addison Street and Farwell Road. It will have 44,500 square feet of space and house about a dozen businesses, including medical and dental professionals, said Dave Lindquist, principal of Spokane-based Lindquist Architects.
They come and go nearly as fast as a bagful of Halloween loot in the hands of a 10-year-old trick-or-treater. Temporary Halloween stores move into vacant retail space at the end of the summer, set up shop and then, like an apparition in a good ghost story, disappear without a trace. They compete with established stores selling Halloween merchandise, yet have three short months to move in and break down, while stocking and restocking inventory to maximize profit.
The Spokane area is flush with pumpkins this Halloween season in spite of a shortage in other parts of the country. "There are plenty of pumpkins out here and there's no crowd," said Kami Mackleit, a Valleyford resident who browsed through a two-acre pumpkin patch at Amicarella's Valley Produce on Sunday with her family.
In spite of a dramatic increase in homes listed for sale, experts say that Spokane County's housing market isn't going through a major slump. "We had an unsustainably hot market. We're now in a much more normal kind of environment. A purchaser can take their time selecting the right house for their needs and that's an advantage," said Glenn Crellin, director for the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University.
After nearly 17 years of working for Spokane Teachers Credit Union, Steve Dahlstrom understands the local market. People here are honest folks with decent credit ratings who, by and large, pay their bills on time, the credit union CEO said. Like the rest of the nation, they could do a better job of saving. Dahlstrom estimates that 60 percent of STCU's members don't have savings accounts, adding, "It's everybody. I've got retirees who don't have a cent in savings either." To inspire members to set aside money for a rainy day, the credit union is offering a savings account that pays 6 percent interest on the first $500. It's an expensive move for a credit union, he said, but the board of directors agreed that encouraging members to plan for the future is worth the investment.
The board of directors for the Spokane Public Facilities District voted to once again ask the city to initiate eminent domain proceedings on a half block of property south of the Convention Center. "We've made a significant effort on all different fronts. We've never been close to negotiating a deal," said Kevin Twohig, executive director of the PFD.
Beverly and Milo Ball, both in their 70s, were tired of yard work and wanted to travel. So they sold their south Spokane home and moved into a two-bedroom apartment with an attached garage. "We decided we'd try apartment living. It seems to work for us," said Beverly Ball, who lives in Adirondack Lodge, a south Spokane apartment complex.
A Spokane company that just celebrated its 50th birthday is outfitting fire departments with cutting-edge trucks and equipment to battle fires, chemical spills and even meth contamination. General Fire Equipment Co., which operates out of six buildings that cover a city block at 4000 East Trent, carries everything from protective gear and air-packs for firefighters to smoke alarms, first-aid kits and fire extinguishers for restaurants and the general public.
A block of old homes across from the Thor Street Fred Meyer store in Spokane has been leveled to make room for a project that could bring a bank and more retail into the community. Preliminary planning documents on file with the city show that landowner Joy Hart of Chattaroy plans to build a 3,700-square-foot, free-standing bank and a separate retail building.
Four state lawmakers from Spokane have intervened on behalf of seniors who say they are being priced out of their long-term care policies. State Sen. Chris Marr, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Reps. Timm Ormsby and Don Barlow, all D-Spokane, attended a recent meeting with the state insurance commissioner, deputy insurance commissioner and insurance agents representing seniors to address concerns that the state hasn't used rigid enough standards for approving 14 rate increases granted to Conseco Senior Health Insurance Inc., during the past six years.
Job seekers ages 16 to 21 have a one-stop place to access help with resumes, applications and other employment essentials. Next Generation Zone, a youth employment center, will kick off its Wednesday opening with a job fair featuring 12 to 15 employers and a handful of colleges and organizations that offer training programs. The office is located on the second floor of the WorkSource Spokane building, at 130 S. Arthur St.
The INB Performing Arts Center is open for business after the latest in a series of spruce-ups. Crews were tidying up almost to the moment that the media arrived for the unveiling of $2.7 million in updates that further solidified the 30-plus-year-old former opera house as a contemporary events facility. Although some elevator and landscaping work remains to be completed, the facility is ready to host the season opener for the Spokane Symphony in style.
A growing number of communities are realizing that attracting and retaining quality workers often boils down to cost and quality of housing. Lack of workforce housing, places that professionals such as teachers and police officers can afford without a huge commute, is a "cost and affordability crisis" impacting communities nationwide, said Robert Burns, a representative for the Washington D.C.-based NeighborWorks America, who spoke at the 14th Annual Affordable Housing Conference. NeighborWorks America is a government-formed nonprofit that works through a network of more than 235 community development organizations nationwide.
Communities that are planned by residents who share values and a common vision are gaining ground nationwide as seniors look for alternatives to traditional housing and retirement facilities. Although elder cohousing has yet to become mainstream, the concept of like-minded people planning communities that maximize resources has caught on in 27 states, said Zev Paiss, a Boulder, Colo.-based consultant who spoke Monday during the 14th Annual Affordable Housing Conference.
A tentative agreement that would have created an 80-acre business park near Spokane International Airport has fallen through. Local developer Walt Worthy said his company, Worthy Enterprises LLC, declined to move forward with the recently announced project for a variety of reasons.
Liquidation World, which operates three stores in the greater Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area, is doing some liquidating of its own. The Calgary, Alberta-based company that specializes in bargain merchandise obtained through bankruptcy and other closeouts is closing 16 of its 18 U.S. retail outlets, according to a news release posted on the company Web site.