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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Dirt: New skywalks coming downtown

Two skywalks torn down for the redevelopment of the old Macy’s building in downtown Spokane will be replaced for $800,000.

Walker Construction has been issued permits to replace the skywalks above Wall and Howard streets north of Main Avenue, for $350,000 and $450,000, respectively. Work on the skywalks will begin in mid-October, said Tom Hansen, owner and president of Walker Construction.

The skywalks were taken down for renovation work on the building, renamed The M, which is being converted into apartments, retail and office spaces. Work on the project has been fast-paced, and the building’s exterior will look nearly complete in 45 days.

The Wall Street skywalk will be in the same location as the one that was removed. The skywalk on Howard, however, will be farther north and connect to the Bennett Block above part of Mizuna restaurant.

Doug Yost, real estate director of real estate investments at Centennial Properties, said the skywalks will be streamlined glass and metal and will coordinate with the final look of the redesigned building. Yost said he hoped they would look more transparent than the originals.

The renovation of the building, and the skywalk construction, is being done by Centennial Properties, a subsidiary of Cowles Co., which publishes The Spokesman-Review.

When complete, skywalk users will be able to walk through the building. A final plan for the interior section of the walk is not yet finalized. Retail tenants for the building are still not known, but Yost said he anticipated both retail and residential units to be open in May or June 2018.

Dru Hieber, who owns the Bennett Block and the Parkade, said she is working with Yost on rerouting skywalk traffic in her building.

Macy’s closed the historic downtown store in 2016 as part of a series of store closures nationwide. Before it was Macy’s, the store was home to the Bon Marche for more than 50 years.

The building renovation will create 105 apartment units with underground parking.

Walker Construction, of Spokane, is the contractor on the project. NAC Architecture, also of Spokane, designed the building renovation, and DCI Engineers is doing the engineering work.

Popeye’s locations nearer openings

Two Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen locations are closer to opening in the Spokane region, one in Post Falls and the other on North Division St.

The Post Falls location is complete and expected to open by the end of September.

Construction at the Spokane location, 6720 N. Division St., will begin at the end of September, according to Zack Bull, the project’s manager with Baker Construction, the contractor.

He said it could take up to four months to build that building, which will be on the northeast corner of Division and Lyons Avenue.

City restoring historic restrooms at Byrne Park

The city of Spokane is restoring Depression-era restroom facilities at Byrne Park in north Spokane that were damaged during the 2015 windstorm. The $243,000 project will include restorative work on the restroom’s existing masonry walls and a complete replacement of the roof.

The 500-square-foot building is in the historic Lidgerwood Park addition, northeast of the intersection of Division Street and Garland Avenue in the Nevada-Lidgerwood neighborhood.

The park, which was named after former Mayor Patrick Byrne, lost about seven pine trees during the windstorm in November 2015, three of which landed on the restroom.

Nick Hamad, landscape architect for the city’s parks department, said the solid construction of the rock-wall building kept it standing despite the tree fall.

“It is a fully rock construction building. The rock is mortared together, and it handled the blow of the trees,” Hamad said. “The building itself, we don’t know the exact date it was constructed, but it was a Conservation Corps-era project.”

Given its history, the city decided to restore the building rather than replace it. The city hired Seattle-based Pioneer Masonry Restoration Co. for the walls’ repair work, and the roof will be replaced with one that mimics a historic cedar shake roof, but will be made of a more durable, modern composite.

The restroom’s interior will be brought up to code.

Because of the storm damage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is funding 75 percent of the work.

The contractor for the project is the Engineering Remediation Resource Group. Spokane-based Steven A. Meeks Architects did design for the restorative work. DCI Engineers also worked on the project.

Second Sonic opens

Another Sonic Drive-In opened in the area, at 10241 N. Newport Highway.

The drive-in is open from 6 a.m. to midnight, with daily half-price drinks from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and two-for-one burgers every Tuesday night.

The fast food chain, which began in the 1950s and has about 3,500 locations nationwide, is based in Oklahoma City.

Downtown cider house opens

One Tree Hard Cider opened its downtown location Friday, boasting more alcoholic ciders on tap than any other location in Spokane. The cider house has 20 rotating taps of ciders and perrys, which are made from fermented pears instead of apples.

The locally owned cider brewer began in 2014 and uses only Washington state apples. The cider house specializes in uncommon flavors, including lemon basil, caramel cinnamon and ginger apricot.

Hours of the new location were not immediately available.

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