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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Plans for parking garage move forward at Wonder Bread building

The Wonder Bread bakery just north of downtown Spokane used to pump out 5,000 loaves of bread an hour.

Soon it’ll produce urban appeal, with space for a restaurant, retail, offices and an artisan food market.

The $15 million project will bring a new, three-story parking garage to the area – which has only grown more popular with the development of Kendall Yards – plans to build a $60 million, 13-story tower on the old YWCA site, and a newly unveiled proposal for a 5-acre sports complex on the north end of Riverfront Park.

Brothers Peter and Nick Mounsey bought the building a year ago for $3 million through a newly formed company, Wonder Spokane LLC. Since the purchase, plans to resurrect the building from vacancy have galloped along.

Permits issued by the city last week show plans to add a third story to the east side of the complex along Broadway Avenue and two stories to the west end. The additions will give uniform height to the south-facing side of the building.

The new parking structure, planned with 261 stalls, will be on the northwest corner of the block the bakery complex shares with David’s Pizza, which sits on the northeast corner. It’s the second parking garage planned on the edge of downtown this year, following the 154-stall Montvale Parking Garage being developed by GVD Commercial of Spokane between Railroad Alley and the elevated BNSF Railway viaduct on the west end of the city core.

The 95,000-square-foot bakery building, which was added to the Spokane Register of Historic Places earlier this year, will be restored and converted to retail, office, restaurant and storage space. In all, the completed building complex will have three floors, and a basement.

Following demolition of existing loading docks, a center bay running from Post to Lincoln streets will be used as an artisan food market, which permits refer to as the “Market Bay.”

The building is formally known as the Spokane-Continental Bakery Building, a complex of four buildings erected beginning in 1909. The earliest building was designed by architect Albert Held, who also designed the Globe Hotel, the Holly-Mason Building and the Knickerbocker Apartments. He also designed the Frequency Changing Station near Liberty Park for the Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad.

The business started as the Sengfelder Bakery & Confectionery Co. downtown in 1887 before becoming the Spokane Bakery. That business was purchased in 1907 by two German immigrants, brothers David and Max Ackerman, who moved the bakery to its location on the north bank.

In 1925, the facility was purchased by Continental Baking Co., which operated bakeries in 100 locations across the country. Its best known products were Wonder Bread and Hostess cupcakes, which were produced in the building until 2000.

The Mounseys hired Spokane-based companies for the renovation and restoration. Yost Gallagher Construction is the general contractor, Wolfe Architectural Group for design, and GLR Engineers.

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