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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tallest Spokane high-rise in works

Developer wants 35-story project near college district

A Spokane Valley dentist and developer wants to build a 35-story downtown high-rise on the southeast corner of Division Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard.

Dr. Phillip Rudy said he has been in contact with owners of the several properties needed for the project. His vision would be a $50 million building towering over every building in Spokane.

The tallest building now is downtown’s 20-story Bank of America Financial Center at 601 W. Riverside Ave. with a height of 288 feet.

Rudy said the building would be mixed use, offering retail and housing, possibly for college students at the nearby WSU Spokane or Gonzaga campuses.

Building records from Spokane City Hall show that the property is large enough to hold such a building, which would include parking both above and below ground.

Rudy has never undertaken such an ambitious project.

He said the owner of the properties needed to build, Robert Sterling, of Spokane, agreed to allow him to take his proposal to City Hall so he could meet with building services officials to learn about the feasibility of his proposal.

The property involves 49,000 square feet of prime land sandwiched between a growing section of downtown near the Spokane Convention Center and the University District to the east.

Rudy said he has been looking for some time for a property to develop. He would possibly occupy one of the residential units.

The parcels he is proposing to purchase are vacant and unoccupied. The largest of the four at Division and Spokane Falls is the site of a former muffler repair shop. It holds a vacant building that dates to 1978. The lot is 21,000 square feet.

“It’s really a cool piece of property,” Rudy said.

The project, however, would hinge on Rudy attracting fellow investors, he said.

Rudy met with officials from various city departments and the regional health district on Oct. 4 in what is known as a pre-development conference.

Such conferences are commonly held for project developers so they can learn about the possibilities and limitations under city building, fire and safety codes, as well as health regulations. The considerations are extensive and include such things as landscaping, utilities, emergency power and signage.

Rudy said he would take advantage of building standards that allow for what’s known as bonus density, which could take the height up to 35 stories.

Lower floors would be 41,470 square feet each, while upper floors would be 15,120 square feet each. An environmental review would be required, city officials said in the pre-development conference notes.