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Huge Liberty Lake Project Under Way

Sam Francis Staff writer

A Seattle-based investment firm is laying plans and selling soil for what it hopes will become the largest mixed-use development at Liberty Lake.

Liberty Lake Land Company’s 850-acre, mixed-use site will combine 640 residential lots with a 235-acre corporate park and a 16-acre retail development. The entire project could be finished by 2008.

Liberty Lake Land Co., is owned by William E. Boeing, Jr., the son of Boeing founder William Boeing, of Seattle; John and David Fluke, of the Fluke Corp.; the estate of John Sherwood; and Bill Rademaker, of Seattle.

“Liberty Lake is growing a lot faster than any other spot in the Spokane area,” said David Fluke, vice president of Liberty Lake Land Company. “The whole site could fill up in 10 years.”

Construction crews are moving dirt, installing utilities and carving roads. They’ve been at it since late June.

Workers are also building a major arterial, Country Vista Road, which presently exists east of Liberty Lake Road. Country Vista will be extended to the west through and beyond the 850-acre development site to connect with Appleway Road, Fluke said.

Six months ago, Vandervert Development LLC bought 16 acres within the site, making it the only Spokane-based company so far to sign on with the project.

Vandervert Development is planning a $20 million, 16-acre commercial park.

“If you want to eat, you have to go on the freeway and go back to town. We’re going to provide some much needed services for the people who live out there,” said Dick Vandervert, president of the development company. “Either I don’t have any brains, or it’s the right time.

Vandervert’s development will include an 80-room hotel and a grocery store, with other shops such as video stores, banks, gas stations and small service stores.

Construction of the retail park will begin within 30 days, and should be done by the end of 1998, Vandervert said.

About 600 acres of the project will be residential. That development, called The Highlands at Liberty Lake, will be comprised of 640 residential lots located south of Interstate 90, lined on the east by Liberty Lake Drive.

Jireh Corp. of Post Falls is negotiating with Liberty Lake Land Company for purchase of the entire 640 acres, said Tom Quigley, of Kiemle and Hagood Co. His firm is marketing the land for Liberty Lake Land Company.

Jireh is expected to sign the deal after site improvements are made, which should be about September 15, he said.

The remaining 235 acres, along Interstate 90, will become Liberty Lake Corporate Park, developed by Liberty Lake Land Company. This is the site once planned to become the Liberty Lake Mall, proposed by Ohio-based Cafaro Company in the early 1980s.

The corporate park will join light-industrial operations with office buildings.

Bill Rademaker, president of Liberty Lake Land Company, declined to say what would-be tenants have talked with developers about moving to the corporate park.

The Liberty Lake Land Company development is refelective of the “new urban core” of the Valley, which stretches from Liberty Lake to Sullivan Road, said Ray Murphy, executive director of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“Liberty Lake is gaining all the characteristics of an urban city,” Murphy said.

If the area continues to grow at current rates, decisions regarding incorporation will be inevitable, he said.

“To continue to be an urban, unincorporated area in the long run does not make sense,” Murphy said. “It’s a matter of whether (Liberty Lake) wants to be part of the solution for the whole Valley or be their own community.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo Graphic: Proposed Liberty Lake development

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