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

Permits issued for Katerra factory in Spokane Valley

A four-story senior-living complex takes shape along Mission Parkway in Spokane Valley Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Katerra, the firm constructing the building, is using modular pannels made in Spokane and Phoenix to assemble the project, moving much of the framing time indoors, into temperature-controlled factories. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The first permits have been issued for a Spokane Valley factory that will produce cross-laminated timber and glulam, engineered wood products that can replace concrete and steel high-rise buildings and parking garages.

The factory marks the entrance of California-based Katerra into the region. The factory is planned to be 250,000 square feet and employ 150 people. Permits issued this week are for the factory’s foundation.

According to permit data from the city of Spokane Valley, the total project cost is estimated to be $35 million. It is being built at 19202 E. Garland Lane on land owned by Centennial Properties, a subsidiary of Cowles Co., which publishes The Spokesman-Review.

The environmentally friendly products, called CLT, are made from wood scraps, which are compressed and glued together in layers, forming structural panels and beams. The products can be made from the small-diameter trees crowding Eastern Washington forests, which foresters are eager to thin to reduce wildfire intensity.

The Cowles Co. also has major forested land holdings under another subsidiary, Inland Empire Paper Co. Though the company owns 117,000 acres of timberland in the region, according to its website, it is far from the largest timber company in the Pacific Northwest. Weyerhaeuser Co., based in Federal Way, manages more than 13 million acres of timberland.