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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Dirt: Grading permit issued for housing development at former Sun Dance Golf Course site

Plans are underway to transform the former Sun Dance Golf Course into a subdivision with more than 475 single-family homes.

Spokane Valley-based Whipple Consulting Engineers, on behalf of property owner Sundance Meadows LLC, applied for a grading permit with Spokane County to clear 400,000 cubic yards of dirt, preparing the site for the future housing development at 9725 N. Nine Mile Road. The county approved the grading permit in late October.

Former property owner Sun Dance West LLC, whose principal is developer Brad West, also filed an application with the county last year to demolish existing buildings and divide the more than 88-acre site into 475 lots for single-family homes, as well as construct roads and sidewalks.

The application drew criticism from neighbors, who cited, among other things, concerns with increased density, traffic on state Highway 291 and strain on the Nine Mile Falls School District.

While the application is still under review by the county, it appears plans are moving forward, as an environmental review for the subdivision was filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology last week.

The developer indicated it will log timber on the site, after an evaluation conducted by an arborist found hundreds of the trees to be in poor condition, according to the environmental review. The developer will conduct a “revegetation plan” to create “a multilayered canopy with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs.”

The project, once approved, is anticipated to be complete in phases over five years, with more than 1,000 people living within the developed site. The city of Spokane requested the developer contribute toward improving nearby intersections via its transportation impact fee program, according to the environmental review.

Sun Dance Golf Course, once a staple of the Nine Mile Falls community, closed in 2018 after more than 55 years of operation. Ken Johnston and his wife, Peggy Jones, had purchased the golf course in 1977. When Johnston died in 1997, Jones and their children took over operation of the property, which had a driving range, pro shop and restaurant.

West purchased the property from Jones for $1.7 million in 2017, according to Spokane County Assessor’s Office records. Members of Johnston’s family continued to operate the golf course until its closure.

West told The Spokesman-Review in 2018 he attempted to keep the 18-hole golf course open, but it wasn’t economically feasible.

The site changed hands again in 2019 when Sundance Meadows LLC, whose principal is Michael Kinney, purchased it for $3.5 million, according to the assessor’s office.

Kendall Yards to get boba tea café

A new boba tea café is coming to Kendall Yards, according to an application filed with the city.

Spokane-based HDG Architecture filed an application to renovate a 312-square-foot space – formerly Paper and Cup coffee shop – into The Tea at 1227 W. Summit Parkway, which is also home to the Inlander.

Renovations include addition of a door, walls and casework. The project valuation is $20,000, according to the application. The project contractor has not yet been determined.

Symons residential units proposed for Symons BuildingThe historic Symons Building in downtown Spokane could be converted into mixed-use retail and residential space.

Mark Agee filed a preliminary application with the city to potentially remodel the building’s upper two floors into residential units.

An estimated construction date was listed as February 2021, pending sale of the building at 9 S. Howard St., according to the application.

Bellingham-based Symons Building LLC is the current property owner.

The Symons Building, built in 1917, has four floors and spans more than 67,700 square feet. Tenants include All You Can Ink Tattoo Studio, the Law Offices of Maris Baltins and the Evergreen Region Volleyball Association, among others.

The Symons Building was added to the Spokane Register of Historic Places in 1996, in part, for its association with pioneer and business investor Colonel Thomas W. Symons and his son, Thomas Symons Jr., who helped bring broadcast radio to the area, according to the building’s historic register nomination.

The Symons Building was the home of Spokane’s first radio station, KFDC, which later became KXLY.

The building was designed by Archibald Rigg and Roland Van Tyne, who are known for designing several Spokane landmarks, such as the Salvation Army Headquarters Building, the Masonic Temple and Hutton Elementary School.

STCU to build new Argonne branch

Spokane Teachers Credit Union is planning to break ground in late winter on a new branch in Spokane Valley.

STCU recently applied for a permit with the city to build the 3,100-square-foot branch at 9209 E. Mission Ave., adjacent to the credit union’s existing home loan center.

Spokane-based Bernardo|Wills Architects is designing the branch. Yost Gallagher Construction is the project contractor. The project valuation is $1.2 million, according to the application.

The Argonne branch is anticipated to open late next year, STCU said in an email.

To make way for the new branch, crews earlier this year prepared two buildings for removal from the credit union’s property to a location on Nora Avenue, east of Pines Road and the Interstate 90 interchange. The building relocation is expected to happen before construction, STCU said.

STCU opened its home loan center at 9207 E. Mission Ave. in 2018 after investing more than $900,000 into improvements to the existing 1970s-era building.

STCU, founded in 1934, has more than 209,000 members and 25 locations in Eastern Washington and Idaho. The credit union holds more than $3.7 billion in assets.

STCU’s Argonne branch will mark the 30th location for the credit union, which announced plans in October to acquire four Umpqua Bank branches in Othello, Coulee City, Ritzville and Medical Lake, pending regulatory approval.

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