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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Public Facilities District buying $5 million property to offset downtown stadium parking loss

This rendering shows the planned 5,000-seat sports stadium in downtown Spokane.   (Courtesy of Downtown Spokane Partnership)

The Spokane Public Facilities District is buying property for $5.25 million to offset parking losses caused by construction of the downtown stadium.

“The Public Facilities District is working to purchase the property that Value Village is on to replace parking lost from the Downtown Stadium which will be located on our Arena parking lot,” Spokane Public Facilities District CEO Stephanie Curran said in an email.

Spokane Public Schools and the Public Facilities District made the controversial decision last year to build a new $31 million stadium in downtown Spokane, abandoning previous plans to build the stadium on the Joe Albi Stadium site in the northwest part of the city.

When it’s finished, the downtown stadium will mainly be used for high school sports, professional sports and concerts.

The Public Facilities District, which includes representatives from Spokane, Spokane County and the lodging industry, will manage the 5,000-seat downtown stadium, and Spokane Public Schools will own it.

That’s a different arrangement than what the Public Facilities District is used to – it owns and manages the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, the First Interstate Center for the Arts and the Podium, a recently completed, $53 million indoor track and field facility.

Because the stadium is being built atop an existing parking lot just northeast of the Arena, the Public Facilities District has to find more parking space elsewhere.

Buying Value Village, a thrift store across Boone street to the north of the Arena, and turning it into more parking is a logical move. According to SCOUT, Spokane County’s map server, the Value Village property has an assessed value of $3.3 million.

The Public Facilities District is asking the Spokane County commissioners for a loan in order to buy the Value Village property. The commissioners discussed the district’s loan request during their Jan. 11 meeting and noted its location but did not provide any information on what the loan was for.

Spokane County Chief Financial Officer Gary Petrovich recommended the commissioners provide the loan.

As currently designed, the loan would come with a 4% interest rate, and the Public Facilities District would pay it off within 10 years.

The commissioners will decide during a future meeting whether they want to loan the district the money.