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The Dirt: Exotic Metals submits plans for Airway Heights expansion

February 3, 2019

Exotic Metals Forming LLC has submitted plans for future expansion on the West Plains.

The Kent, Washington-headquartered company specializes in aerospace sheet metal fabrication and design, working primarily with titanium and nickel alloys. Exotic Metals has a 150,000-square-foot industrial building in Airway Heights.

Company officials didn’t return calls last week, but documents filed with the city of Airway Heights indicate Exotic Metals is planning two expansions on the western portion of the 56.6 acres of property it owns at12821 W. McFarlane Road.

The first phase would be construction of a new manufacturing facility and employee parking lot, which could begin as early as this year for completion in 2020. The second phase would mirror the first expansion, but the company doesn’t have a timeline for that work.

Exotic Metals would bring on about 150 staff with each expansion phase, according to company documents.

Company officials have submitted a checklist for the planned development under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act. Airway Heights officials have asked for additional information about traffic impacts.

Apartments planned for former Academy facility

The Academy, a former senior-living facility near Gonzaga University, will be transformed into housing geared toward students.

An environmental review filed with the city by Spokane-based DCI Engineers indicates plans to build 95 apartments, which will be a mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom units at 1216 N. Superior St.

Construction is anticipated to begin this spring and completed later this year.

Seattle-based Merrill Gardens, which had been owner and manager of the senior-living facility, sold the building for $4.7 million last year to Utah-based Stellar Living, a family-owned and operated company that provides independent-living, assisted-living and respite services at eight facilities in Western Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.

The sale generated some criticism, as several senior citizens, some who had lived there for several years, were evicted from the building as a result.

Kyle Reiter, vice president of operations for Merrill Gardens, told The Spokesman-Review last year the company sold the property because it was struggling to keep up with maintenance of the historic building.

Adam Benton, senior vice president of Stellar Living, told the newspaper last year the company was undecided if the building would have apartments or senior independent-living units.

The Academy was designed by architect Patrick Donohoe and built in 1891 as a private school for young women, known as the Holy Names Academy.

By 1902, the school boasted more than 235 students, prompting an expansion. Architects Herman Preusse and Julius Zittel added wings to each end of the building. Five years later, it became one of the state’s first private schools to offer a high school curriculum and teacher training courses for young women.

The school began offering a bachelor’s degrees in education in 1938, and Holy Names College was built next door in 1941. The college, now the site of senior-living facility Maplewood Gardens, moved to the former Fort George Wright grounds in 1960.

Holy Names Academy closed in 1975 as the school faced dwindling enrollment numbers and expensive maintenance. In its more than 80 years of operation, about 5,000 students attended the school. – A.E.

Core Pilates moving to new location

Core Pilates is moving to a new location in Spokane’s Kendall Yards, according to permits issued by the city.

The exercise studio outgrew its space at 1230 W. Summit Ave. two years ago and will move into a location more than twice the size of its current location, according to its owner, Dana Wall.

“We’ve been waiting and waiting to find a spot,” said Wall, noting her space will grow from 1,100 square feet to 2,300 square feet. The studio offers up to 40 classes a week, six days a week.

Work to remodel the new location at 1174 W. Summit Ave. for Wall’s business is valued at $46,000, according to documents filed with the city.

Core Pilates teaches “polestar international pilates,” which was developed by physical therapists, though Wall notes she and her two teachers are not licensed physical therapists.

Wall notes most of her customers are 55 and older, and her oldest client is 87, though she’s always looking for new customers.

“We’re accepting anyone with a spine,” she said.

The project’s contractor is Centennial Homes, LLC, a subsidiary of Greenstone, which owns and is developing the Kendall Yards district in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood. – N.D.

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