A dilapidated appliance store on East Sprague Avenue is being renovated into offices for a local architecture company.
The store, 1912 E. Sprague Ave., is being renovated by Morlan Architecture Studio, which will occupy the 1,500-square-foot space.
Chris Morlan, the architect, said the $75,000 renovation will largely gut the structure.
“We’re just trying to find the building inside of it,” said Morlan, who purchased the 96-year-old building in August for $90,000, more than twice its assessed value. “We bought it from a couple who had been living in it, but it was their business before that. It was really derelict. It was really very filthy. Almost unlivable.”
Morlan said he will do “very minimal work to the outside” other than to replace the windows and reveal the brickwork, which has been painted over for decades.
Morlan has been practicing architecture in Spokane since 1990, when he graduated from the University of Idaho. He has owned his own firm since 1995. He works primarily on improvements to commercial and retail spaces.
The new studio should be open by February, Morlan said, when he and his two full-time employees will move from their present location in the historic Eldridge Building at the corner of First Avenue and Cedar Street west of downtown Spokane.
Morlan said he was drawn to East Sprague for the affordablility and his expectation that the building will become an “asset” before he retires, due to the public investment and anticipated revitalization of the business district.
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