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

Lego files plans to open store in River Park Square, local Lego sellers are most excited of all

Bryce Colvin works with customer Rob Heffner in finding a Lego palm tree and Egyptian Sphinx pieces at Brick Buy Brick on May 31 in Spokane’s Garland District. A new Lego store is set to open soon at River Park Square.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The building blocks of fun are coming to River Park Square.

A building permit has been submitted to remodel the former North Face store, at 808 W. Main St., unit 121, in Spokane, to build the latest Lego store.

“We are looking to start the project as soon as we get a building permit, which should be in the next few weeks,” said Mike Breig, lead architect.

He works for Nelson Worldwide, which is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The scope of the remodel will include upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and display shelving, according to the permit.

“They are completely renovating it,” he said. “They are launching one of the new concepts into it.”

Amy Hodgson, of Barneveld, Wisconsin, is listed as the owner/applicant. Reached by telephone, Hodgson deferred all questions to Breig.

“It’s in for permit, that’s all I can provide,” Hodgson said.

Breig said the project should take 10 to 12 weeks to remodel the 7,020-square-foot space. The opening date will depend on when the permit is approved to start construction, he said.

The project is more of a natural progression of expansion for the Lego stores, Brieg said. The expected cost of the renovation was listed at $590,000.

“We just opened the 1,000th store this year in North America,” he said. “We are very excited to be in there. We are really looking forward to opening.”

Asked what he liked about the store, Breig laughed. “Every architect loves Legos.”

While monumental for fans of the toys, this isn’t the first brick and mortar Lego store in Spokane. That distinction goes to Brick Buy Brick in Garland which opened in April.

Frankie Foote, who runs the store with her boyfriend Bryce Colvin, was ecstatic at the prospect of an official outlet for the building bricks.

While the store sells some similar merchandise to official Lego stores, they also deal in used and retired sets not currently in production. These products are often purchased from individuals based on the set’s condition or as a consignment from a collector, which means the price of a set can vary.

Individual characters and bricks can be purchased directly, with some vintage and rare mini figures costing upward of a hundred dollars. Foote doesn’t intend to alter her store’s inventory when the new Lego store opens.

On top of retail, they also offer personalized Lego-themed birthday parties for children and adults, a role branded stores do not offer.

Foote believes that her store fulfills a different niche and isn’t concerned about competition with the River Park Square location. She looked to similar stores in the Seattle area, who said the presence of official Lego stores can only be good for business and the hobby itself.

Cara Strickland runs Brick Mistress, a Spokane-based online retailer that often partners with Brick Buy Brick. She was equally excited about the development.

“It means more Lego floating around,” she said.

She didn’t expect competition, explaining that the Lego brand is particularly supportive of its aftermarket and avoids overextending itself by allowing independent sellers to operate within organized parameters.

Strickland believes that part of their role as independent stores is to fill gaps in official Lego merchandise. She support s the interests of girls and women, a group she doesn’t feel is adequately catered to by current Lego products. Brick Mistress and Brick Buy Brick are in the process of creating a Lego club specifically for a female audience.

Neither retailer fears for their business.

“Spokane is good at supporting local,” Foote said.