The top floor of the 121-year-old Hotel Aberdeen building in downtown Spokane is being renovated into three apartments, according to permits issued by the city.
The work is estimated at $140,000 and adds to the continuing rehabilitation being done by Mark and Marianne Kartchner, who purchased the building in March 2018 for $525,000. It is on both the Spokane and National Register of Historic Places and is part of the East Downtown Historic District.
The second floor of the building has been converted to office space and houses the Kartchners’ engineering firm. The first floor is undergoing renovation.
The 9,000-square-foot building at 101 S. Stevens St. was built in 1898 by Agnes McDonough as a single-room occupancy hotel with stores on ground level. When built, it was called Wellington Court. The building’s original interior was demolished long ago, according to nomination documents for the Spokane Register of Historic Places. The 24 hotel rooms are gone, but some of the floor plan remains and will be maintained in the apartment project.
Despite the demolition, the original stairwell remains, even though the stairs have been replaced.
The building’s exterior, which has a prominent granite arch, has largely been unaltered, except for a 1902 addition that elongated the building south to Railroad Alley.
The early ownership of the hotel is striking, since its first three sole owners were women. McDonough sold it to Anna McIntosh, who owned it for just a year before she sold it to Carrie Harris. Harris, the most remarkable of the three, first built her fortune feeding and housing the miners of Idaho’s Silver Valley, but expanded when she “built a diverse multi-state real estate portfolio at the turn of the 20th century,” the nomination documents state.
Aside from her Spokane properties, Harris built numerous homes in Los Angeles near the University of Southern California.
After she purchased the Stevens building in 1903, she renamed it the Hotel Aberdeen. The same year she developed the seven-story Hotel Victoria two blocks away at First Avenue and Wall Street. The Victoria was demolished in 1979 to make way for the Washington Trust Bank parking garage.
In 1914, the Aberdeen was renamed the Bachelor Apartments.
In 1950, a fire broke out on the building’s third floor, and rafters still show “clear evidence of charred wood from the blaze and structural repairs to remedy the damage. It is ironic that at the time of the fire the business located on the first floor below the fire location was ‘Fred C. Ashley Realtors and Fire Insurance,’” the historic register nomination states.
In the 1960s, the building was called the Baker Hotel. – N.D.
Cross-laminated timber maker Katerra moving offices to Wonder Building
Katerra is moving its Spokane office to the Wonder Building on the north bank of the Spokane River downtown, according to city permit data.
The California-based, off-site construction startup will do $780,000 in improvements to more than 10,000 square feet of space in the Wonder Building, 835 N. Post St., which is a former industrial bread bakery. Katerra’s office relocation is expected to happen in the fall.
Katerra opened a cross-laminated timber products factory in Spokane Valley this year. The 250,000-square-foot plant will make structural panels and beams from wood scraps that are glued together in layers and compressed to produce cross-laminated timber. The factory, which is still under construction, has begun limited production. Last week, the company delivered the first CLT panels to Avista’s Catalyst project at the south landing of the University District Gateway Bridge.
The Wonder Building opened this year and is filling up with some prominent tenants.
The 95,000-square-foot bakery building, which was added to the Spokane Register of Historic Places in 2018, currently houses Rover, a Seattle-based dogsitting and walking startup; and Parametrix, a Seattle-based engineering company that largely focuses on public infrastructure. Chad White, a local restaurateur, said he will open High Tide Lobster Bar 2 there as well, which is confirmed by city permits.
Permits issued this week also show the building will house an Evans Brothers coffee bar.
The three-story building is formally known as the Spokane-Continental Bakery Building, a complex of four buildings erected beginning in 1909. The building’s $15 million renovation was completed this year.
Katerra is acting as general contractor and architect on the Wonder project. – N.D.
MultiCare Health System planning new medical office building in Spokane Valley
Tacoma-based MultiCare Health System is planning to build a new medical office building adjacent to its existing hospital in Spokane Valley.
The health care organization filed a preliminary application with Spokane Valley to build a more than 81,000-square-foot medical office building on the northwest corner of Boone Avenue and Vercler Road.
The facility would include a skywalk connecting to the second floor of MultiCare Valley Hospital, according to site plans filed with the city.
Spokane-based NAC Architecture is designing the project.
MultiCare declined to comment on specifics of the project.
MultiCare is a nonprofitwith more than 16,000 employees. The organization offers inpatient, primary, virtual, urgent care and specialty services across eight hospitals in the state. – A.E.
Walmart in Spokane Valley completes store remodel
Walmart Inc. recently completed a remodel project to transform one of its Spokane Valley stores.
The store at 5025 E. Sprague Ave. remodeled its electronics department with interactive displays allowing customers to test out electronics before purchasing, improved layouts of various departments, added new signage and paint through the store for easier navigation, installed a mother’s room and expanded its Money Center to provide faster customer service.
The remodel is part of Walmart’s effort to spend $36 million in seven stores across Washington this year with addition of grocery pickup and order pickup towers, which are vending machines for online orders, according to a company release.
“The entire team is excited about our remodeled store and the convenience it’ll provide to the Spokane Valley community,” Brandi Garcia, store manager, said in a statement.
Walmart has more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries. It employes more than 2 million people worldwide. The company has five stores in the Spokane region with more than 19,000 employees in Washington. – A.E.
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