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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Yard work: Spokane hopes to turn long-neglected area into industrial hub

Randy Hastings’ drive to work takes him to the east side of Spokane, over the dirt roads of Hillyard to the forgotten part of town where he’s kept his business – R&R Heating and Air Conditioning – since 1987.  He drives past empty lots, decrepit homes, a trailer park, warehouses, laboratories and large grocery store distribution complexes. The roads shift from paved to graveled, new to old, from being bordered by sidewalks and landscaping to a fuzzy edge of overgrown weeds. Standing outside the empty building his business outgrew a decade ago, but which he still owns and leases out, Hastings points to a fire hydrant the city made him pay for, next to a road he has unsuccessfully asked the city to build for years, and at a house he’s pretty sure is a drug front.