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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Art Move Reclaims Empty Building In Downtown Coeur D’Alene

Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Revie

One thing that can really help a town dependent on seasonal trade is when a non-service-oriented business relocates there.

In this regard, downtown Coeur d’Alene will be blessed by the arrival of ART Inc., in mid-May.

It would be fun to say ART (Advanced Relational Technology) is so dramatically successful that it has bought the bank. At least the 25-employee business has bought and will be occupying a bank building - the U.S. Bank at 303 N. Third St.

The business, which develops three-dimensional architectural design software, will be leaving the lower level of the Contractors Northwest Building off Kathleen Avenue.

Primary reasons for the change are a near doubling in space (from 2,000 to 3,800 square feet), a change in location (offering employees downtown area amenities) and owning its own building. Even this extra space won’t be enough, however; ART plans to add 1,800 square feet (to the west) as soon as possible.

A more visible location for marketing purposes is not a primary reason for the move, said Nancy Lynne, CEO and president. ART markets its products worldwide, with 450,000 end-users of the software, especially in Europe, Australia and Japan.

Products include Chief Architect, the professional version of the software, and 3-D Home Architect, the home hobby version (available at Hastings).

Although its products are not actively marketed in North Idaho, ART strives to be active in the community. Its software is used in the curriculum at Lake City High School and the company sponsors internships from the North Idaho College drafting program.

ART has donated its $800 software to several charitable organizations for fundraising purposes, and hosts monthly training sessions for 50 to 60 people who travel to Coeur d’Alene to participate.

Coeur d’Alene native and Coeur d’Alene High School graduate Jack Simpson Jr. started the company in California’s Silicon Valley in 1982. He earned his doctorate from Stanford University and came to Coeur d’Alene with two employees in 1994. He is now ART’s chief technical officer.

Hats off to ART for occupying an empty building in a key area. Same goes to Inland Technology, a personal computer company, which purchased the U.S. Bank building at Silver Lake Mall.

Several readers have commented on the visible presence of the Ameritel Inn, which should open June 1 next to Wild Waters in Coeur d’Alene.

People have asked why the “fifth floor” and attached “large room” facing Highway 95 (across from Kootenai Medical Center) don’t have windows. Surely the top floor would have views of the Spokane River and maybe Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Though the building appears to have plenty of vertical room for it, the fifth floor, with its big west-end room, doesn’t really exist. It’s just a false roof and storage space.

The reason is economic. A four-floor building may be of wood-frame construction; a five-floor or more building must be constructed otherwise and adhere to a new (and more expensive) set of building codes. Hence all the four-floor motels in Coeur d’Alene.

Incidentally, although it may appear larger, the Ameritel, with 118 rooms, will be just the fourth-largest Kootenai County hotel in numbers of guest rooms.

The Coeur d’Alene Resort has 338 rooms, Templin’s Resort, 166, the Shiloh Inn, 139, and the Coeur d’Alene Inn, 122. Following Ameritel are Motel 6, with 109, Suntree Inn with 100 and Super 8 with 95.

The Ameritel will push total motel-hotel rooms in Kootenai County to 2,238. The county also has 95 bed and breakfast rooms.

Offering favorite name brands in dress, casual and sport shoes, Footquarters shoe store in the Factory Outlets, Post Falls, celebrates its grand opening this weekend.

Located in a 4,500-square-foot site between the Dansk and Leggs stores, Footquarters sells Reebok, Nike, Hush Puppy, Keds, Rockport, Vans and Eagle Rock shoes.

A subsidiary of Kinney Shoes, Footquarters is one of 89 outlets nationwide. Local manager, with five employees, is Jerry Gastelum, a Mexico native who came to North Idaho from San Jose.

In deference to the Kootenai County English-only mandate, Gastelum laughs that Spanish is available at Footquarters.

, DataTimes MEMO: Nils Rosdahl’s column appears in Idaho editions of The Spokesman-Review on Wednesdays.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Review

Nils Rosdahl’s column appears in Idaho editions of The Spokesman-Review on Wednesdays.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Review

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