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

The Dirt: 259-unit apartments planned for Spokane Valley

The Parkade Plaza reopened last week following a remodeling of the iconic downtown parking structure.  (Courtesy)

Plans have been submitted to the City of Spokane Valley to build a five-story, 259-unit apartment building just north of Interstate 90 near Kohl’s department store.

The six acres at 1215 North Flora Road where the $8.3 million project is planned are untouched. The land is owned by Fortune Design & Development, a Vancouver, Washington-based investment firm.

The developers previously pursued a project at the location with Spokane-based Fusion Architecture. This time around, they will work with Ted Trout Architects & Associates from Houston.

According to Giovanni Fazzolari, project manager for the architectural firm, much of the plans are similar.

“The previous project went through all of the steps with the city, but COVID put it to a stop,” Fazzolari said. “We’re now revisiting it with basically the same layout, just adding more units.”

The firm is also doing away with previous plans to implement retail and restaurant space. Instead, the first floor will include a clubhouse and the fifth floor will house a café and lounge, Fazzolari said.

All five stories of the building will contain units from studios to two-bedrooms, all of which will be market-rate housing.

The permit is still early on in its approval process with the city and there could be changes to the final design, he said.

“The developers are talking about going above and beyond what is required for energy use,” he said.

The building may use efficient heating and cooling systems that recycle and capture air.

Developers have also discussed the implementation of solar panels on the exterior of the building and electric vehicle charging stations in addition the eight that are already planned.

The architectural firm has designed dozens of apartment buildings of similar size, Fazzolari said, but this is its first project in the Spokane area.

It has been a good experience, he said.

“It was refreshing to meet building officials with their stuff in order,” he said. “It was a pleasure to speak with them because they were very concise and professional.”

Impressed with the efficient processes of city workers, Fazzolari said he believes a permit could be issued by the end of the year. Construction for the project will take about 18-24 months.

Affordable housing complex to be modernized

A building permit was issued this week to revitalize a SNAP affordable housing location.

According to Spokane County records, Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners will be working to modernize the Pine Villa Apartments, an affordable housing complex at 33 East Graves Road near Whitworth University.

The $7.2 million project will be completed in three phases and will include work to all six buildings on the property.

According to Dean Henrich, marketing and communications specialist for the organization, many of the staff members were at a housing conference and not available for an interview.

But the staffers provided a joint statement with more information about the project.

According to the statement, the six apartment buildings will undergo interior rehabilitation and weatherization efforts to reduce energy consumption and cost burden on tenants.

Also on the property is a community building that will be completely replaced.

“The current community building that is inaccessible is being replaced by a fully accessible community building with amenities for the residents,” the statement said, “as well as space for onsite service staff and an additional four units of affordable housing.”

The new building will offer tenants access to laundry, mail, and other property amenities.

The parcel is owned by Pine Villa Associates LLC, a subsidiary of SNAP. The housing complex is operated in conjunction with Kiemle & Hagood, a commercial real estate and property management firm based in Spokane.

Revamped parking ramp

The Parkade Plaza fully reopened last week after years of renovation work.

After being purchased in 2020, the iconic Parkade parking garage in downtown Spokane has undergone repairs and upgrades to the structure. It has improved signage, lightning and security making it safer.

The air conditioning systems for its numerous skywalks were also made more efficient, according to part-owner Charles Bauman.

The garage is owned by Parkade Investors LLC, which comprises six individuals and Bauman. He said investors include his direct partners and four members from InCity Properties Holdings Inc., which also manages the structure.

The group was approached by Sam Daniels III to buy the property. He is the grandson of an original developer of the 963-stall garage, Bauman said.

After acquiring the structure, the investors worked with local businesses to form a validation program that will reduce parking costs. Further, customers may use their smart phones to purchase and validate parking.

The 10-story parking garage was built in 1967 for $3.5 million ahead of the World’s Fair as a private renewal project to service the downtown core of Spokane.

On Friday, a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorated the history of the structure and brought together stakeholders including Daniels; Andrew Rolwes, vice president of Downtown Spokane Partnership; Mayor Nadine Woodward; and Michael Cathcart, councilman from Spokane’s District 1.

“This was a celebration of getting a piece of Spokane history back in working order,” Bauman said. “We’re big believers in Spokane and the Parkade is essential to keeping the vibrant downtown ecosystem that we all love.”