Spring in the greater Spokane region means patio seating is available at restaurants, parks are greatly occupied, splash pads are about to open, and kids (parents?) are counting down the days until summer vacation.
It also means time to see some progress!
This spring, a number of construction projects are reshaping our wonderful city. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Today we attended the groundbreaking ceremony at Deaconess Hospital, part of the Rockwood Health System. Deaconess will renovate and expand its Emergency Department and should be complete this time in 2015. The new Emergency Department will feature all private exam rooms, 22 treatment spaces, a larger waiting room and much more. John Elder, Deaconess’ Construction Manager, said the majority of the contractors for this project are from the Spokane area.
2. The most visible construction project in Spokane is the Walt Worthy hotel project across from the INB Performing Arts Center. The hotel will have more than 700 rooms, an attached parking garage with more than 900 parking spaces, 70,000 square feet of meeting space and more than 25 meeting rooms of varying sizes. This project will help Spokane bring more and larger conventions to town, bringing in money from visitors.
3. Speaking of conventions, the Spokane Convention Center expansion is ongoing. This project will also allow Spokane to attract more and larger conventions to town and will give visitors a great view of the Spokane River from the Convention Center.
4. Kendall Yards continues to grow, with housing and businesses sprouting up, seemingly before you can cross the Monroe Street Bridge. Greenstone is leading the change at the Kendall Yards site, creating a livable and workable space that many years ago was covered in railroad lines. Two GSI members – The Inlander and Aezy, were among the first businesses to call Kendall Yards home.
5. Kendall Yards has amazing views of the Spokane River, downtown Spokane and the shiny new Huntington Park, which opened last month. The park sits between City Hall and Avista’s downtown power station. Avista managed the project and all of the contractors were local companies. If you haven’t yet, make sure you head down to Huntington Park and learn about Spokane’s water power history from that site. It has some great views!
6. Ruby Hospitality (formerly GVD Hospitality Management Services) is currently transforming the old Burgan’s Furniture building on Division near Gonzaga University. The plans call for 46 apartments and three retail stores to be located at the site. Construction is expected to be complete this fall.
7. Spokane Public Radio is moving to Fire Station No. 3 on North Monroe Street and will renovate the historic building. In fact, the organization is holding a groundbreaking ceremony on June 2 at 1:00 p.m. You can contribute to this move and renovation by providing a gift to the organization.
8. Exotic Metals – the company we helped to recruit to Airway Heights – recently began construction on its site. Exotic Metals, which manufactures products for the aerospace industry, will build a 150,000 square-foot building and expects to hire 150 new employees. The annual economic impact of this company being in our region is expected to be more than $100 million.
Of course, these projects aren’t all the developments happening in our region. If we didn’t mention one you think is important, let us know in the comments.
So what does all this development mean?
It means folks around town are willing to invest in our community. These projects show how Spokane is growing. Many of these developments are from private investments and all of them create jobs in the construction industry and other jobs in the long term.