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Home   •   Archives   •   Spokane Edition   —   Monday, June 24, 2013


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Spokane Public Facilities District and Worthy group near deal for hotel site

The Spokane Public Facilities District Board of Directors will consider approving an agreement outlining the potential development of a large parcel of downtown Spokane property by the Worthy Group which has announced plans to build a nationally branded, high-rise 'headquarters hotel' on the site.

A Letter of Intent, which has been signed by Davenport Hotel Collection owners Walt and Karen Worthy, states in general terms the agreement for the purchase of a full city block just south of the INB Performing Arts Center in order to build a 700 room hotel with a 900 space parking garage.

The 120,000 square foot city block along Spokane Falls Boulevard between Bernard and Washington is currently used for public parking. But its long term future as outlined in the District's Vision 20/20 strategic planning document calls for the property to be used for Spokane Convention Center enhancements. The District's agreement with the Worthy Group guarantees 300 public parking spaces for INB and Convention Center patrons; the District will pay for a skywalk between the new hotel and the Convention Center.

The property saw extensive environmental clean-up as it was being developed for its current use. But the District has agreed to provide a reimbursement of up to $500,000 for any further hazardous substances remediation required on the site. The Worthy Group will provide a performance guarantee that will be released when the hotel roof is in place.

"The Worthys have been great to work with on this development," said District CEO Kevin Twohig. "We know that a hotel of this stature will boost our ability to compete with other cities for tourism and convention events."

The Worthys, who own and operate The Davenport Hotel Collection, announced in September 2012 their intention to construct what would be the city's largest building and indicated at the time that the District owned property is the best site.

The District Board will discuss the proposal during its June 25th regular meeting.

Grand Opening of South Hill Senior Living

South Hill Senior Living, housed in the historic Cooper George building, will host a grand opening with a ribbon cutting this Thursday, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. It is located at 707 W. 5th Avenue, Spokane, on the corner of Wall Street and 5th Avenue. The building was purchased in June 2012 and the first phase of renovations are completed.

The Cooper George building was constructed in 1952, and was the first senior housing complex in Spokane. It has 14 floors with some of the largest apartments for seniors in the area with spectacular views of the city and western vistas. There are 150 apartment units with assisted living utilizing 88 licensed apartments, and the remaining units as independent senior housing. The complex also contains a two story, 58 space, secure parking garage.

In its hey day, the Cooper George boasted a grocery store, dry cleaning shop, two restaurants, a physician's office, a beauty salon, a doorman, and a garage / automobile attendant. Life at the Cooper George was elegant, and at the time the finest the city had to offer. Unfortunately, as years passed, the building was sold many times and fell into neglect and disrepair. In 2010 it suffered a major fire as a result of a tenant who was mentally ill and delusional.

South Hill Senior Living, LLC has a vision to rejuvenate the building to 'affordable elegance,' such that seniors with modest or low incomes can enjoy the beautiful space and views the property offers. The facility is once again focused on adults, 55 years of age and older who need a little extra help to keep them independent and productive.

The website is southhillseniorliving.com.

Burgan's Block project moves ahead

Five years after buying the Burgan's Furniture buildings at North Division and Boone, developer Jerry Dicker has launched a multimillion-dollar project at that location. The project will include apartments, two restaurants and other retail space. Bernardo-Wills Architects is the project design firm creating buildings with a contemporary, artistic look. Dicker has owned the property since 2008 when the owners of Burgan's closed their store and sold to GVD Commercial Properties for $2.4 million. It is estimated the Burgan's Block project will cost between $9 and $12 million. Construction is set to start within 60 days.

Donna Halvorson named executive director of Nethercutt Foundation

Donna J. Halvorson has been named the new executive director of the George Nethercutt Foundation, developing and implementing the organization's Citizenship Tournament coming this fall. A native of Spokane, with over 25 years experience in non-profit fundraising and grant writing, Donna is a graduate of WSU and has a Masters degree from Whitworth. For more information go to nethercuttfoundation.org.

nectarMEDIA launches Go Social Summer School

With the fast paced change in technology and social media tools, the need for continuing education is important. Whether you are just getting started or are ready for more advanced learning, nectarMEDIA is launching a session of Go Social Summer School classes for you. "My goal is to provide Spokane businesses with the education and motivation to reach new and existing clients online," says owner Josh Wade. "These are classes that provide you hands on HOW and not just theory, stats and why, they are also super affordable."

nectarMEDIA is hosting a 4-hour boot camp, 101 level class for only $39.95 on July 18 and a more advanced 201 level session on August 8. Both seminars include lunch and are hosted at Nectar Tasting Room at 120 N. Stevens. Space is limited to 40 people. In addition to the 1/2 day classes, nectarMEDIA is hosting classes on Blogging, Advanced Facebook, and more. Visit their Class Schedule for class agendas, pricing and registration. nectarmedia.mycustomevent.com.

Spokane Valley Target nominated for Freedom Award

Air Force Reservist, Technical Sergeant Ryan Nintzel, nominated his civilian employer, Spokane Valley Target for the highest employer award because of their great support. "I was on the rolls for four years (while deployed) and co-workers didn't even know who I was, yet when I returned they welcomed me home like family," said Nintzel. "I have been with the company for eight years and have been on numerous leaves of absence due to military service. My store's management staff, along with my co-workers, professionally supported my military service," Nintzel added.

The Freedom Award is an elite award given by the Department of Defense organization, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Out of 2,899 nominations only 15 organizations are selected nationally, explained Ken Isaak, ESGR Area Chairperson. "The fact that Spokane Valley Target was nominated for a Freedom Award, attests to the fine leadership of the organization," Isaak said in the award presentation.

Spokane Valley Store Team Leader, Lauren O'Shea-Hauge signed an ESGR Statement of Support, committing support of the Armed Forces, specifically the Guard and Reserve, and further demonstrating her patriotism.

ESGR provides education, mediation, and recognizes supportive employers of Guard and Reserve employees. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling 800-336-4590.

Cruisers will cruise over with breakfast or lunch

Cruisers Diner & Catering located in the Food Court inside River Park Square has begun delivery to offices, hotels and residences in downtown Spokane.

Cruisers offers a unique variety of menu offerings from their full breakfast menu, specialty burgers topped with house-made dressings and sauces, fish and chips, plates featuring salmon, shrimp, pot roast and country fried steak. With the attention to unique foods using fresh ingredients, came concerns about insuring the same quality for delivered foods as what guests are served when they order in person. Cruisers web page is currently under construction, but menus and information is available on their Facebook page at facebook.com/CruisersRiverParkSquare, or call 509-624-1495 for menus and information about Cruisers catering.

John Penland Joins Bernardo Wills Architects

John Penland has joined Bernardo Wills Architects as a project designer/CAD technician. With a focus on retail, commercial and governmental commissions, Penland is responsible for planning, design, and preparation of construction documents, and project management. Penland, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering Technology from Southern Polytechnic State University, previously worked for JEA Architects in Atlanta as a project manager.

Established in 1991, Spokane-based Bernardo Wills Architects provides professional design services - including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and masterplanning - to clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. Market sectors served include government, retail, corporate, commercial, higher education, K-12 education, healthcare, and multi-family housing. For more information, visit www.bernardowills.com.

New Spokane Club CEO onboard in July

Charles Alpers has accepted the position of CEO for the Spokane Club and will be coming onboard July 15. Mr. Alpers has held leadership roles in some of the top private clubs in the country including the Jonathan Club, the Athenaeum and the Lost Altos Golf and Country Club. With a special career emphasis in both Food and Beverage and Hotel and Hospitality, Alpers has worked in some of the finest hotels in the world including the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC, and the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has been described by peers as 'a smart, ethical and innovative professional with a very strong F&B background and a classic European hotelier.'

The Business Thought of the Week

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I'll try again tomorrow." Author Mary Anne Radmacher

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