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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Construction to start on E. Sprague ‘pie’

Bricks and mortar will soon be going up on East Sprague where a Two Swabbies store used to stand.

“It is a pie in the middle of Sprague, Appleway and Thurman,” said developer Marshall Clark. “The pie is a little more than an acre.”

Clark purchased the property a year ago and now is in the final stages before construction. He hopes to start building in February after he gets approval from city of Spokane Valley engineers. The building will probably take four months to complete, he said.

The single-story building will be 6,800 square feet and have room for four tenants. Allied Cash Advance has already signed on and there will be a Starbucks on the west side of the building. “That’s where you can get the drive-through in,” he said.

The businesses moving into the other two spots are yet to be named. “I’m working with people, but it’s not settled yet.”

Clark said he prefers to line up renters for his buildings before he starts construction. “It lowers your risk. You make sure you’re heading in the right direction.”

The spot is ideal because of visibility and traffic. The construction project will also tidy up a vacant area.

“It’ll have lots of landscaping,” he said. “Right now it has a lot of weeds. We’re going to sprinkle and landscape every inch of it.”

Video store shutting doors

The Premier Video store at Sprague and Mullan is calling it quits after more than 15 years in business.

“Independent video stores are almost a thing of the past,” said owner Tom Hamilton Sr. “You can’t compete.”

At one time Hamilton owned 25 video stores, but only three remain. “It’s only a matter of time” before the rest of them close, he said. “I change my mind every other day about whether to close them or not.”

Video stores owned by movie studios are a major cause of the closure, but Hamilton also points to the Valley couplet. Once eastbound traffic started traveling on Appleway, some customers stopped coming. “That’s the first part that kicked us in the shins. I love the arterial. I drive it every day. But it kills business on Sprague Avenue.”

Right now the store is having a going out of business sale. Even the fixtures and furnishings are available for a price. “We may even sell something that’s nailed down,” he said. “Since I own the building I can take everything up.”

Hamilton hasn’t set a closing date yet. “It’ll close by the end of February. It could close this week.”

Hamilton is searching for another tenant to occupy the building.

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