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Thursday, April 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Residents have mixed feelings for Browne’s tear down plan

The owner of two historic residential buildings in Browne’s Addition wants to tear out the structures to make room for a three-story apartment house with modern design.

Last week, the owner tried to reassure members of the Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council that the project will fit into the surroundings.

“I think it’s going to be a centerpiece in the neighborhood,” said Jason Kettrick, who lived on the property with his wife after he first purchased it in 2001. He now lists Seattle as his address and spoke to residents by cellphone.

Kettrick Properties LLC is seeking a demolition permit to tear down the two 19th century houses that had been converted to apartments over the years.

The house at 2335 W. Third Ave. was built in 1895 while the next-door property at 317 S. Coeur d’Alene was built in 1898.

Residents of the neighborhood who attended last Thursday’s meeting at Browne’s Tavern expressed mixed feelings about losing two historic structures.

Mary Moltke, owner of the tavern property and the neighboring E.J. Robert’s Mansion, said the loss of any of Browne’s Addition’s old structures is a problem.

“We don’t have anything in place to stop it,” she said in an interview after the meeting.

Julie Biggerstaff, treasurer of the neighborhood council, criticized the owners of the project property for allowing the houses to deteriorate.

“Those houses have not been taken care of for a long time,” she said, adding that lack of maintenance of rental properties is a problem throughout the neighborhood.

Moltke said that one answer would be to promote historic register listings with property owners, which would provide additional protection against deterioration and demolition.

City Councilman Jon Snyder, who represents the neighborhood, suggested that the neighborhood council consider undertaking a more detailed neighborhood land-use plan that would ensure that redevelopment in the future adheres to neighborhood goals.

He said there is little that can be done to stop the proposed demolitions.

Project architect Rex Anderson, of Fusion Architecture in Liberty Lake, said the building will conform to the 35-foot height limitation in the area with the exception of an elevator tower that will rise a few more feet at the back side of the building and is allowed under the zoning code.

He said mature trees along the perimeter of the property will be kept.

A large right of way along Coeur d’Alene Street will leave more than 20 feet of lawn and landscaping space in front, he said.

In addition, the building will have brick on the lower story and architectural modulation along its length to break up the massing of the building, Anderson said.

Neighborhood residents said they are concerned that the new tenants will bring more cars to the adjacent streets.

Tim Finneran, communications officer for the neighborhood council, said that he is neutral about the project after hearing its details.

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