Stay Alfred is adding to its vacation rental portfolio with plans for several new units at the Fruci Building in downtown Spokane.
The Spokane Valley-based company, known for popularizing the concept of upscale travel apartment rentals in walkable downtown locations, inked a 10-year lease with real estate developer Roger Fruci Jr., who is renovating the building’s upper floors into 27 travel apartments.
The upper floors of the building at 218 N. Bernard St. have remained vacant since Fruci & Associates moved its accounting firm in 2016 to its current location on Washington Street.
Mike Wilson, Stay Alfred’s senior vice president of real Estate, said Fruci approached the company about six months ago to explore leasing the building.
“We were immediately interested and it moved pretty quickly,” he said. “It was a great partnership from the beginning. Overall, we’re excited for the Spokane expansion.”
Wilson said building renovations will be underway soon for the travel apartments, which are anticipated to be complete by June 2020 – just in time for Hoopfest.
“It’s great weekend for all of Spokane hospitality,” Wilson said. “We are all pushing for that to be an opening date.”
Fruci’s father, Roger Fruci Sr., purchased the building in the 1950s. The building, constructed in 1905 with several single-occupancy rooms on its upper floors, once housed miners and loggers after the turn of the 20th century.
After Fruci & Associates moved out of the building, the younger Fruci considered renovating the vacant office space into condos or long-term apartments but decided on short-term rentals because of proximity to the Spokane Convention Center and the First Interstate Center for the Arts.
“It was always in the back of our minds that we wanted to get (the building) back to residential at some point,” Fruci said. “Stay Alfred provided kind of an impetus for a really cool project.”
First -floor tenants FedEx, SpaBlue in the City and Edward Jones will remain in the building.
Stay Alfred added 15 rental units last year at the M Apartments in the former Macy’s building at 612 W. Main St. The rentals are a part of a partnership with The M’s owner, Centennial Properties, a subsidiary of Cowles Co., which also publishes The Spokesman-Review.
Stay Alfred operates more than 2,500 vacation rental units in 33 cities.
Spokane Valley native and former Army Ranger Jordan Allen founded the company in 2011. Allen’s idea for the company was sparked by a visit to Denver with his brother to see a Colorado Rockies baseball game. While there, they stayed in a high-end apartment rental within walking distance of downtown and other amenities.
The company, which launched in a 300-square-foot office in downtown Spokane with three employees, has since expanded to a 45,000-square-foot campus in Spokane Valley with more than 300 employees.
Stay Alfred raised $47 million in venture capital funding last year from Nine Four Ventures, a Chicago-based real estate company. The company plans to use the capital to expand its footprint into the European market and add more than 4,000 units this year.
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