A mama duck’s ill-advised roost on a Spokane window ledge has helped her fellow fowl at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge land $5,000. Sterling Savings Bank concluded a monthlong Bucks for Ducks fundraiser to celebrate the safe passage of the mallard hen and her 12-duckling brood, who were hatched on the edifice of the bank’s downtown office.
What some North Idaho residential real estate observers early this year thought would be a momentary market correction has turned into a different beast. With a national economic crisis hurting consumer confidence and a credit crunch affecting both buyers and builders, home sales and housing construction have dropped dramatically.
Even in tough economic times, the University District will be at the center of economic growth in Spokane, representatives of local government, universities and businesses asserted Thursday. Officials touted recent efforts to implement a four-year-old strategic plan for the district, which they envision as a melting pot of academia and entrepreneurship. Avista Corp. has loaned an executive to serve as project manager, prioritizing potential projects and seeking sustainable funding. Both the city and Greater Spokane Inc. have pledged tens of thousands of dollars.
Another company that claimed to help save Washington homeowners from foreclosure – but purportedly did little or nothing in return for its fees – has agreed to a settlement with the state attorney general’s office. The state alleged Clearwater, Fla.-based United Home Savers LLP charged customers $1,200 or more up front, but routinely did not refund the money if it couldn’t help them, as the company promised. The now-defunct company and owners Darin and Stephanie Dietschy, of Belleair Beach, Fla., do not admit guilt in the Wednesday settlement, filed in Spokane County Superior Court.
A state hearings board this week rejected some arguments made by concerned neighbors against a city decision that cleared the way for potential big-box stores on three South Hill parcels. Some Southgate neighborhood residents contended the city violated the state’s Growth Management Act, in part by failing to use a neighborhood planning process to designate the parcels, near South Regal Street and the Palouse Highway, for development as commercial centers. But the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board said Monday the residents failed to prove their arguments, and the board dismissed that part of the case.
A public agency rehabilitating two historic Spokane buildings to house low-income tenants expects to spend as much as $245,000 per apartment. That’s more than the average price of single-family houses sold in Spokane County so far this year – a fact that has some private developers scratching their heads and Northeast Washington Housing Solutions defending escalating costs.
Buddy and Lauri Aguiar had visited more than a dozen homes when they parked their Lexus SUV in front of a $745,000 townhouse on the hills overlooking Spokane Valley. The retirees from Texas own a home in the area, but it does not have all the features they wanted. And prices are “getting more reasonable” with the downturn in the housing market, Buddy Aguiar said. In fact, that Lexington Homes property was marked down to $670,000 for the remainder of the Fall Festival of Homes.
After four years critiquing local development and observing urban life in Spokane, the administrator of a popular local blog signed off earlier this week. With daily posts on topics including transportation, architecture and neighborhood businesses, MetroSpokane caught the eye of city officials and journalists. But its facilitator, Brian Jennings, was spending a couple hours a day on the site, metrospokane.typepad.com. Jennings said he will no longer make new posts to the site.
Congress’ rejection Monday of a proposed Wall Street rescue plan frustrated Spokane investors and advisers, who said some action must be taken to avoid a replay of the 777-point plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average. Without quick reconsideration of the plan voted down in the U.S. House of Representatives, or a slightly modified version, the pain in the financial markets will hit Americans harder than they suspect, some predicted.