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The Dirt: Meeting House cafe opening in historic Knickerbocker Apartments

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 9, 2020

The Knickerbocker Apartments building at 507 S. Howard St., shown here on Feb. 19, 2015, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  (JESSE TINSLEY/The Spokesman-Review)
The Knickerbocker Apartments building at 507 S. Howard St., shown here on Feb. 19, 2015, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (JESSE TINSLEY/The Spokesman-Review)

A new coffee shop is coming to the historic Knickerbocker Apartments.

Seattle-based InterUrban Development, led by developer Rob Brewster, filed an application with the city to transform a former ground-floor restaurant space in the Knickerbocker Apartments at 507 S. Howard St. into a 1,017-square-foot Meeting House cafe.

InterUrban Development also is renovating an existing storage space and adding restrooms in the building, according to the application.

Seattle-based Board & Vellum Architecture and Design is designing the coffee shop. Flywheel Construction, of Spokane Valley, is the project contractor.

The project valuation is $75,000, according to the application.

The Meeting House cafe in the Knickerbocker Apartments will be open to residents and the public, according to the Knickerbocker’s website.

InterUrban Development opened the first Meeting House cafe in February at 1801 E. 11th Ave. in the Perry District on Spokane’s South Hill. Meeting House features organic coffee from Roast House and is one of a few local cafes offering Rishi organic tea.

The Knickerbocker, built in 1911, is on the National Register of Historic Places. A Spokesman-Review article in 1911 reported the Knickerbocker to be “the finest apartment house west of New York.” The property’s original owner, Graham Dennis, was a Spokane pioneer, miner and prominent businessman.

Since 2010, the Knickerbocker has undergone extensive renovations, including updates to 20 apartments by previous owners Mary and Eric Braden.

The building was added to the Spokane Register of Historic Places in 2015.

InterUrban Development purchased the property for $2.7 million in 2018, according to the Spokane County Assessor’s Office.

The company envisions restoring the historic character of the three-story building while modernizing elements of apartment layouts and updating common furnishings in addition to opening a coffee shop to serve residents and the community, according to its website.

InterUrban Development filed permits last year to renovate six additional apartments in the 30-unit building.

Brewery, beer hall planned for Liberty Lake area

The retail footprint in Liberty Lake’s River District is continuing to expand with a new brewery and beer hall planned for the neighborhood.

Chapman Homes LLC applied for a permit to build Brew + Mead, a more than 3,800-square-foot, two-story brewery and beer hall east of the intersection of Indiana Avenue and Harvard Road.

Site plans show a more than 1,400-square-foot brewery on the ground floor, with a kitchen and seating area. The second floor will have an additional 580-square-foot seating area.

Spokane-based Uptic Studios is the project architect.

Liberty Lake-based Greenstone Homes is developing the River District community, which includes a mix of single-family homes, apartments, senior living and commercial space.

Last month, Sweet Annie’s Artisan Creamery opened a location in the River District. Specialty doughnut shop Hello Sugar is also planning a third area location adjacent to Sweet Annie’s.

New business park proposed in Airway Heights

Spokane-based Storhaug Engineering filed a preliminary application on behalf of property owner R.A. Pearson Co. to build a business park adjacent to Pearson Packaging Systems in Airway Heights.

The business park would include a 7,500-square-foot, two-story office building, a 15,000-square-foot maintenance building and nine lots of varying sizes for “other business potentials” near the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 2 and Campus Road, according to the application and site plans.

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