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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Dirt: Construction of Avista parking garage to begin

By Becky Kramer and Nicholas Deshais The Spokesman-Review

Avista will begin construction of a five-story parking garage with 500 stalls near its Mission Avenue headquarters, according to city permit data.

The 171,000-square-foot structure is valued at $11.6 million and will be more than 60 feet tall. The garage has been planned for years, and is part of a larger plan to restructure the campus.

The parking structure will be built on an existing lot due north of the landmark 1959 Washington Water Power building.

Work on the garage was anticipated to begin in spring 2018, but was delayed.

In October 2017, the utility began construction of a $3.1 million fleet service building, also on site at its main campus.

The two-story, 29,600-square-foot building was built just west of the intersection of Upriver Drive and Indiana Avenue at the utility’s headquarters. The concrete, steel-framed building will include a conference room, car-washing facilities and a maintenance garage for minor repairs and issues, such as changing oil, antifreeze and hydraulics.

The parking garage’s general contractor is Bouten Construction, of Spokane. Wolfe Architectural Group, of Spokane, designed the structure, and DCI Engineers, of Spokane, did the structural engineering. – N.D.

North Idaho hotels complete renovations

Two North Idaho hotels have wrapped up extensive renovations.

The Comfort Inn & Suites/MainStay Suites has reopened at 701 W. Appleway in Coeur d’Alene after a $7 million exterior and interior remodel that took 12 months to complete.

An affiliate of Butte-based Town Pump Inc. bought the former Shilo Inn in 2017 and spent six months planning the renovations. Town Pump owns gas stations and convenience stores, hotels and casinos.

The Appleway property was rebranded with a focus on leisure, business and extended-stay travelers. The hotel is smoke-free and includes 46 studio suites, an indoor pool and spa, business center and a meeting space for 50 people.

A ribbon-cutting and grand opening is scheduled for Feb. 28 in conjunction with a Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours mixer.

Longwell + Trapp of Coeur d’Alene was the architect for the project. Ginno Construction was the general contractor. About 165 construction workers were employed on the renovation project.

In Bonners Ferry, the Kootenai River Inn Casino and Spa has completed a renovation of its 65 River View rooms.

The two-month project featured new paint, decor and walk-in showers. The project involved a number of local contractors, including several from Bonners Ferry.

The hotel is owned by the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and managed by Hagadone Hospitality Co. It has 101 guest rooms and is operated under the Best Western Plus brand. – B.K.

Builder plans triplex in Nevada Heights neighborhood

A three-unit townhome will replace a single-family home in Spokane’s Nevada Heights neighborhood, according to permits issued by the city.

The development at 52 E. Garland Ave. is about a block east of Division Avenue and a block south of Patrick S. Byrne Park.

When complete, the two-story triplex will have 3,000 square feet and include off-street parking for tenants. The townhome project is valued at $440,000.

The property was purchased by Brian and Tanya Bunker in May 2012 for $35,000. Locha Construction, also owned by the Bunkers, is the project’s general contractor.

“I’m hoping if this good weather holds I can break ground for foundation, which is normally difficult this time of year,” said Brian Bunker, adding the triplex will be complete six months after construction begins.

The project is in the city’s Multiple Family Tax Exemption boundary, which was expanded in August 2017 to include the area in which Bunker’s Garland triplex will be located.

“It’s a gargantuan deal for me,” said Bunker, of the tax exemption. “As a small builder, my pockets are not as deep as others. It helps me out a lot. That’s great incentive.”

Bunker has built a number of multifamily buildings in town, which he prefers to building single-family homes or apartment buildings.

“I like these two- to six- or seven-type units. It gets people away from apartments, but it’s a happy medium,” he said. “Townhouses are a good option that feel more like a home and are more desirable than an apartment.”

Bunker said the rent would be in the $1,000 a month range. – N.D.

Reporter Nicholas Deshais may be reached at (509) 459-5440 or

Contact report Becky Kramer at (509) 459-5466 or

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