A historic brick bakery north of the Spokane River will be transformed into office space, with an artisan food market on the first floor and a glassed-in roof plaza.
Wonder LLC is planning $12 million in renovations for the property, which occupies almost an entire city block near the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
“We hope it becomes an iconic landmark for the city and for the north side of the river,” said Pete Mounsey, one of the partners in Wonder LLC.
The bakery made Wonder Bread and Hostess products until 2000. A group of investors represented by Wonder LLC bought the vacant building last year, shortly before it was scheduled to be sold through foreclosure.
Part of the bakery that burned in 1947 will be reconstructed with brick to match the original exterior, Mounsey said. The renovation, which should wrap up by summer 2018, will also expose interior beams and old brickwork that was painted over.
The owners envision an artisan food market on the first floor, similar to the Denver Central Market, with vendors such as bakeries, coffee shops, produce stands, and meat and seafood counters.
The third floor will contain outdoor patio space and a glassed-in plaza.
“The view is pretty extraordinary, and we wanted to make the most of the vantage point,” Mounsey said. “You can look across the Spokane River into Riverfront Park.”
The renovated office space should be attractive to Millenials, he said. “They like to be in old buildings with modern amenities,” he said.
The owners plan to pursue a local historic designation for the bakery, which churned out about 500,000 pounds of bread products per week during its peak. The original building dates to 1909. The plant started producing Wonder Bread after it sold to Continental Baking in 1925.
Wonder LLC also plans to build a parking garage with about 250 stalls on the north side of the block. The investors’ goal is to have part of the building ready for tenants by fall, Mounsey said.
The bakery building is between Lincoln and Post streets and Mallon and Broadway avenues. David’s Pizza occupies a portion of the block, but the restaurant is on a separate parcel with a different owner.
Wonder LLC’s partners see the north side of the river as one of Spokane’s up and coming neighborhoods, Mounsey said.
The re-development of Kendall Yards to the west was an incentive for Wonder LLC to buy the parcel, he said. The investors were also excited about the multimillion renovation of Riverfront Park.
“The economy in Spokane seems to be strong and improving,” Mounsey said. “Businesses want to be close to downtown. …It seemed like a logical place for investment.”
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