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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Dirt: Work to begin on low-income apartment complex near Spokane Falls Community College

The first phase of a big affordable housing project is cleared for construction just east of Spokane Falls Community College.

The city of Spokane recently issued building permits for the first two apartment buildings off Fort George Wright Drive near West Elliott Drive, in what will be called the Copper River Apartments complex. It eventually will have 10 apartment buildings providing 240 low-income units.

The project will go in on land sold last year by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. The order sold its former convent and 36 acres to Catholic Charities, and Inland Washington LLC is developing the Copper River complex as workforce housing. Inland regularly partners with Catholic Charities on building projects.

Each of the initial apartment buildings will have 24 units. Developers also are approved to build a clubhouse for the complex. The project sought tax-exempt revenue notes from the Washington state Housing Finance Commission to finance a portion of costs.

Catholic Charities plans to develop a separate 76-unit housing site on the property for homeless families. The organization also plans to use the convent for a new social services program called Rising Strong that aims to reduce the number of children removed from their homes by Child Protective Services.

Another 31 acres at the site will be set aside to provide open space with trails and access to a large swath of shoreline along the Spokane River. Spokane County is buying that land from the Sisters of the Holy Names for $2.65 million, initially using funds from the Spokane County Conservation Futures program.

The county and city are partnering to receive two grants totaling $2 million from the state Recreation and Conservation Office toward reimbursing the county’s conservation fund, said Paul Knowles, county parks planner. The city’s parks and recreation department will assume ownership of the open space and manage it, Knowles said.

South Hill apartments sell for $12 million

Two apartment complexes with a total of 162 units on Spokane’s South Hill have sold for $12.45 million. HFO Investment Real Estate of Portland announced the sale Thursday.

The 104-unit Cedar Hollow complex and 58-unit Cedar Willow complex were built in 1988 and 1990. They are located within three blocks of each other west of South Regal Street.

An unnamed private investor in Southern California bought the properties. HFO partners Rob Marton, Greg Frick, Cody Hagerman and Tyler Johnson represented the seller, PTLA Corp. of Walnut Creek, California.

The sale represents a price per unit of $76,852, or more than $91 per square foot, HFO said.

“Cedar Hollow and Cedar Willow’s desirable location and demonstrated rent growth offered the new buyer an excellent opportunity to acquire a significant number of units in the Spokane market and to reduce management costs due to their proximity,” Marton said in a news release.

“The Spokane market is experiencing significant population growth because of job growth in the health care and education industries,” Marton added.

Kroc Center expansion, remodel on tap

The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene is embarking on an $850,000 remodeling project to improve energy efficiency and expand space for child care.

The work, which begins in February, will enclose the Kroc Center’s front entrance and add 2,000 square feet to the Play Care area.

Enclosing the front entrance will eliminate snow and ice on the walkway and reduce the center’s utility bill, according to center officials. Expansion of the Play Care, which provides child care for kids ages 6 and under, will help address wait times at the first-come, first-served facility.

Money from the Salvation Army’s capital reserve funds will pay for the remodel, said Maj. Ben Markham, the Kroc Center’s executive director, in a letter to members.

The center will be open regular hours during the work.

Papa John’s going into Northpointe Plaza

A Papa John’s is going into Northpointe Plaza in Spokane.

The pizza outlet will occupy a leased 1,250-square-foot space at 9600 N. Newport Highway.

Ryan Towner and Dallas Lightner, both of Black Commercial, assisted with the transaction.

Multifamily housing project in works

Spokane Housing Ventures has purchased 1.8 acres in north Spokane to develop a multifamily project.

The land is located at 2830 E. Francis Ave., the corner of Francis and Regal.

Drew Ulrick, of Black Commercial, and Marshall Clark, of Clark Pacific Real Estate Co., handled the transaction.

Sweeto Burrito opens

in Coeur d’Alene

The franchisee of Sweeto Burrito restaurants in Spokane has opened a location in Coeur d’Alene at 1423 W. Appleway Ave.

Owner Scott Isaak, who first launched an outlet in Spokane Valley, later opened two other Spokane Sweeto Burrito eateries at 9602 N. Newport Highway and at 1839 N. Ruby St.

Let us know about new businesses, construction projects, expansions or relocations. Send items to The Dirt at, or call (509) 459-5439.

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