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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane could have a new tallest building after developer submits plans for 22-story tower

Nov. 21, 2019 Updated Thu., Nov. 21, 2019 at 8:43 p.m.

A rendering shows a single high-rise tower planned as part of The Falls project. When complete, the 22-story building will have more floors than any other in Spokane. (Courtesy of L.B. Stone Properties)
A rendering shows a single high-rise tower planned as part of The Falls project. When complete, the 22-story building will have more floors than any other in Spokane. (Courtesy of L.B. Stone Properties)

Spokane could be getting a new tallest building, besting the 38-year record held by the Bank of America Financial Center.

Plans filed with the city Thursday describe a 22-story residential building on the north bank of the Spokane River.

The high-rise tower is part of developer Larry Stone’s The Falls project.

While it’s unclear how tall the building will be, its 22 floors top the 20 stories in downtown’s Bank of America building, which was built in 1981 and is 288 feet tall.

Earlier plans filed with the city indicated the project would have three towers, a public plaza and new views of the upper Spokane Falls when complete.

The plans filed this week by Stone reveal new information about the project and include only one tower. It is unclear if more towers will be built.

Stone, who would not comment for this article, has kept quiet about the plans. L.B. Stone Properties also did not return inquiries for comment.

A description of the plans provided by the city shows a building with 124 residential units on 22 floors. Three additional stories will be below ground. The ground floor will have a 9,200-square-foot shell for either retail business or a restaurant. The city did not make the documents publicly available.

Initial reporting and earlier plans described the towers as being 13 stories tall, containing hotel rooms, apartments, condos, office and retail spaces and underground parking.

Stone talked about the project in September. At the time, he pegged the budget for the first tower at $70 million and said it would include 101 rental units, 23 condominiums and a floor dedicated to restaurants.

“No one’s ever built anything remotely like this in Spokane before,” Stone said at the time, noting that the first tower would be under construction in spring 2020.

In 2017, plans for the development were first revealed, showing a $60 million project called The Falls. Stone purchased the property for $3.2 million in November 2010 through his company, Falls LLC.

Earlier this year, the former YWCA building was demolished to make way for the project.

First constructed in 1891 by the Galland & Burke Malting & Brewing Co. of Spokane, a concrete and steel-reinforced brick building sat on the length of an entire city block, stretching from Lincoln Street to Post Street on the south side of Broadway Avenue, according to the Spokane Historic Preservation Office. The site faces the historic Wonder Bread building, which is near the end of a $15 million renovation.

Over the next 72 years, the brewery was sold to various beermakers, including Spokane Brewery and Sick’s Rainier Brewery.

In 1963 the building was sold to the YWCA, and local architectural company James & Hicks drew up plans for renovation. A month after a building permit was issued, a fire “razed most of the original brewery complex,” according to research compiled by the preservation office.

Work went on anyway, leading to the construction of the 1965 structure, and the YWCA remained there until 2010 when it moved into a complex with the YMCA at 930 N. Monroe St.

Stone inserted himself into the news during this year’s municipal elections when he produced the controversial 17-minute video “Curing Spokane.” The film, modeled after the KOMO-TV special “Seattle is Dying,” focused on downtown crime.

The film polarized an already charged election. Mayoral candidate and former TV news anchor Nadine Woodward, who won the race, said she appreciated that a local developer was “willing to spend money to bring to light a problem that has been going on in our city.”

Her opponent, City Council President Ben Stuckart, said the film was “embarrassing, inciting and shaming our people to make a political point.” After the film’s release, Stuckart briefly proposed redirecting $300,000 in funding for The Falls that he initially backed. He quickly withdrew that proposal.

Adam Shanks contributed to this report.

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