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

New business park filling up in Spokane Valley

Tapa Business Park developer Thomas Andersen talks on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, about the completion of the 10-acre site in Spokane Valley. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

For real estate investor Thomas Andersen, the Tapa Business Park in Spokane Valley is a “field of dreams” project.

“If you build it, they will come,” he said, referring to tenants in the 10-acre business park.

The park – slated for completion in about a year and a half – will feature 14 buildings with a combined value of more than $16 million, Andersen said.

The business park is the first development project for Andersen, who purchased the site northeast of Trent Avenue and Sullivan Road in 2015 for commercial and light industrial use.

Andersen said he chose the site based on land affordability and proximity to the Spokane Industrial Park, as well as to Affordable Self Storage at 4622 N. Sullivan Road, a property he purchased for $750,000 in 2002.

“I felt (Tapa Business Park) was in a high-demand area because of the Spokane Industrial Park and the traffic that goes by on Trent Avenue,” he said. “There’s just thousands of cars that go by the location every day.”

Since 2015, Spokane Valley-based Specialty Structures LLC, contractor for the project, has built five 6,000-square-foot buildings, each with two stories of office space and attached warehouse spaces.

A sixth building, totaling more than 9,000 square feet and serving as a regional office for Western Partitions Inc., an interior/exterior contracting firm, was also completed last year.

Other tenants in the business park include Vapor Lounge; North Sky Communications, a subsidiary of Dycom Industries Inc.; Home Staging Works; and Prince Telecom Inc.

Andersen is steadily developing buildings in the business park with the intention of selling them to prospective tenants.

“One of the things that I looked at (when considering the site) is people in the Spokane Industrial Park can’t own buildings, and I thought that creating a business park with ownership creates value,” he said.

Nwestco, an industrial equipment supplier with branches in Idaho and Montana, is leasing a building from investor For-Con LLC, which purchased the space for $810,000 in April.

Nwestco relocated its corporate office from east Spokane to the Tapa Business Park last year – three months after construction was completed on the building in June.

“The timing really worked out perfect,” said Derek Fors, branch manager for Nwestco. “For us, it’s a good fit because the office is centrally located between Idaho and Spokane.”

Andersen said construction of eight additional buildings in the business park will be underway early this year and he’s already receiving calls from companies expressing interest.

“I’ve received a lot of inquiries in the past 60 days,” he said. “Demand has really taken off.”

Andersen is also developing an 86-unit RV storage facility on 6 acres at 4426 N. Sullivan Road, adjacent to Key Tronic Corp., and a site with three 2,000-square-foot buildings for office space at 13411 E. Trent Ave.

Tapa Business Park joins the continued expansion of Spokane Valley’s northeast industrial area.

The city is working on a planned action ordinance that will streamline building permits for more than 560 acres of undeveloped, industrial-zoned land near Barker Road and Euclid Avenue.

Spokane Valley Economic Development Manager Mike Basinger said the planned action ordinance, once implemented, will be extremely valuable to the city’s goal of developing the area.

“It will be one of the best things in the Valley that’s happened in a long time,” he said. “It’s pretty significant when you think about how long that land was sitting out there vacant all those years.”

California-based technology company Katerra purchased 52 acres of land for $5.3 million from Centennial Properties, a subsidiary of the Cowles Co., which publishes The Spokesman-Review.

Katerra announced last year it’s building a 250,000-square-foot cross-laminated timber facility that includes a warehouse, research and development institute, and storage space. The company expects to create 225 manufacturing, design and engineering jobs.

A second company is planning to build a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility with 115,000 square feet of storage and a new short line rail spur off Union Pacific Railroad’s main line.

Although city officials declined to name the company due to a nondisclosure agreement, Spokane County Assessor’s records show Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Alabama-based Caterpillar Inc., purchased land adjacent to Katerra from Centennial Properties for $3.2 million.

Basinger said demand for industrial space is rising, and the city is continuing to attract interest from companies looking to relocate.

Spokane’s industrial market experienced a drop in vacancy rates last year, which remain historically low at 1.8 percent, according to an industrial market report by Kiemle and Hagood.

Spokane Industrial Park’s vacancy rate is around 2 percent, the report said.

“There is a huge demand for industrial space,” Basinger said. “That’s what we are seeing and Tom (Andersen) is seeing it too.”