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

January 26, 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 exteriror 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 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.

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