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The Dirt: Renovation of Pacific Fruit building will bring financial company offices, coffee shop, restaurant

January 27, 2019

A 97-year-old brick building in Spokane’s University District that still boasts the faded “Pacific Fruit & Produce Co.” on two of its exterior walls will reopen later this year as a restaurant, coffee shop and new home to JMK & Associates, a Spokane-based financial company.

The building at 102 E. Main Ave. is a former warehouse in what used to be an industrial end of downtown. It will be remade into offices, conference rooms and other spaces for JMK. The building will also have space for a large restaurant and 1,000-square-foot coffee shop. Tenants have yet to be identified.

The building’s brick and heavy timber construction will be maintained, according to HDG Architecture, which is leading the renovation. A new concrete floor will be poured throughout the building, and new windows will be installed. The building’s original loading dock will be redesigned for a restaurant patio, and the existing “Pacific Fruit & Produce Co.” signs will stay.

The renovation is expected to cost $800,000, and is expected to be complete by September.

The 8,960-square-foot, triangular warehouse was purchased by JMK in November for $1.4 million. Documents filed with the city show plans for new off-street parking, sidewalks, bikeways on the bordering streets and landscaping.

For decades, the eastern end of downtown now referred to as the University District was an industrial area hemmed in by railroads. As the area became less industrial and more urban and focused on higher education, some of the warehouses were demolished, including the Ryan Fruit and Produce Company warehouse, a 15,600-square-foot, two-story building near Division Street that was torn down to make way for Martin Luther King Jr. Way. In the 1990s, the building housed the Spokane MarketPlace.

The 18,000-square-foot Piggly Wiggly warehouse also was demolished to make room for MLK Way. Built in 1927, the building was used by the Western Piggly Wiggly grocery chain and later by Safeway. The warehouse was designed by Gustav Albin Pehrson, whose work also includes the 15-story Paulsen Medical and Dental Building and the Chronicle Building.

Both U-District buildings were demolished in 2010.

JMK’s building was built in 1922 and originally called the Auto Freight Depot, before it was taken over by the fruit company. Trucks backed up to the building’s loading dock that fronts Pine Street.

The project’s construction manager is JW Construction, of Mill Creek, Washington. HDG Architecture, of Spokane, designed the renovation. – N.D.

Eagles Temple building to undergo $2.2 million conversion

Building permits have been issued for $1.2 million in work to convert a 96-year-old building that has been home to a nightclub and theater into apartments.

The project, which is expected to cost $2.2 million in all, will bring 21 residences on three floors and two ground-level retail spots on Howard Street just north of the rail viaduct.

The former Eagles Temple, just south of Second Avenue at 174 S. Howard St., was purchased for $750,000 in December 2017 by Susannah Stoltz, who is developing the project.

The building was built in 1923 by the Fraternal Order of Eagles and remained with the group as a meeting hall until 1960. After years of vacancy, it opened in 1969 as the Canterbury Inn, a nightclub, and then the Land’s End Tavern in 1974. In 1980, the space became a theater, Inter Players. Most recently it was the Modern Theater Spokane, which closed in 2016 because of high costs and low revenue.

The project’s general contractor is Mauer Construction, of Spokane. The architect is Spokane-based Russell Page Architects. – N.D.

Work to begin on restaurant upgrade as part of River Hotel renovation

Work on the Onyx Kitchen in the River Hotel will begin soon, according to permits issued by the city.

Renovation of the hotel began in November, and now the restaurant’s 3,500-square-foot kitchen will see $250,000 in upgrades.

Management of the hotel, formerly the Red Lion River Inn, recently changed hands following Red Lion’s decision not to renew its lease on the property at 700 N. Division St.

GVD and Ruby Hospitality will take over management of the hotel. GVD Commercial purchased the hotel property for $10.75 million in 2003. With the new hotel, Ruby will run six hotels in all, including Hotel Ruby, Ruby2 and the Montvale Hotel in downtown Spokane, the Hotel Ruby Sandpoint and Ruby Suites. Ruby Hospitality also manages the Montvale Event Center, the Bing Crosby Theater and Sapphire Lounge.

The kitchen project’s general contractor is Mauer Construction, of Spokane. Bernardo|Wills Architects designed it. – N.D.

Pods Moving and Storage plans second Spokane Valley location

Pods Moving and Storage is planning to build a second storage facility in Spokane Valley.

Plans call for four, 20,000-square-foot warehouses with offices and 59,400 square feet of storage space to be built on 10 acres of vacant land at 4414 N. Barker Road, according to a preliminary application filed with the city.

The site was purchased by Clint and Brenda Grassel in 2017 for $725,000.

Kent Architectural Collaborative PLLC of Hauppauge, New York, is the project architect.

Florida-based Pods Moving and Storage was founded in 1998. The company provides residential and commercial moving services in 46 states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Pods presently has has two self-storage facilities in Washington, in the Spokane Industrial Park in Spokane Valley and in Everett. – A.E.

Pinecroft Business Park to add office building

Pinecroft Business Park is expanding its footprint in Spokane Valley with plans for a new office building.

The building, which will be at 12509 E. Mirabeau Parkway, is to have more than 30,800 square feet, according to an application filed with the city by Pinecroft LLC.

Tenant leasing at Pinecroft has been strong and some space is available in the recently built River’s Edge building, but more flex office space is needed, said Jamie Traeger, owner and broker of JMA Commercial Real Estate, the property management company for the business park.

Traeger said although a groundbreaking date for the proposed building hasn’t been set, it’s anticipated Pinecroft LLC will obtain building permits in the spring.

Spokane Valley-based Architectural Ventures is the project architect.

Pinecroft Business Park encompasses more than 96 acres with 470,000 square feet of office space. More than 30 percent of existing tenants have expanded within the business park. – A.E.

Reporter Nicholas Deshais may be reached at (509) 459-5440 or nickd@spokesman.com. Contact reporter Amy Edelen at (509) 459-5581 or amye@spokesman.com.

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