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

Spokane urban design awards honor Urban Outfitters building

The exterior or Urban Outfitters is seen on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, in Spokane, Wash. The building, designed by ALCS Architecture, received this year’s top urban design award from the City of Spokane. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Development projects downtown and in the University and South Perry districts earned accolades from City Hall this month for exemplifying stellar urban design.

The big winners at the Mayor’s Urban Design Awards, held every two years for the past decade, were ALSC Architects and Centennial Properties, designers of the expansion to River Park Square that now houses the retailer Urban Outfitters, and STCU branch and Rocket Bakery. The new building, which incorporates the historic brick facade with large, street-facing windows, opened last October to coincide with the reopening of a stretch of Wall Street as a pedestrian pathway.

Centennial Properties is a subsidiary of the Cowles Co., which also publishes The Spokesman-Review.

A ceremony announcing the award recipients was held Oct. 19 at the Saranac Commons downtown. Projects honored in the past include the Spokane Tribal Gathering public space near City Hall and the Nest Plaza in Kendall Yards, along the Centennial Trail.

ALSC Architects, the firm behind the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and Gonzaga University’s McCarthey Athletic Center, among other projects, also received an award for its work renovating the downtown Spokane Transit Authority Plaza.

The South Perry Business District received an award for promoting a walkable retail core. Kevin Twohig, the soon-to-be-retired head of the Public Facilities District, was honored for his contributions to downtown public projects, including the arena and Spokane Convention Center. The people’s choice award, determined by vote, was given to the design for the plaza that will sit above a massive stormwater tank under construction near the downtown Spokane library.