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University of Washington secures building lease in Spokane

University of Washington secures building lease in Spokane

The Spokane City Council on Monday night formally approved the lease of the former Spokane Visitor Information Center to the University of Washington, which will use the space for many purposes, including business outreach, alumni activities and student admissions. The site will also help support the UW's efforts to expand its existing medical school in Spokane.

The city of Spokane sought tenants for the roughly 2,550-square-foot space and the UW submitted its lease proposal on Oct. 2, 2014. The space is expected to become a hub for prospective students and their parents, alumni and other members of the community to learn more about the university. It may also provide opportunities for startup companies and other innovators in the Spokane area to interact with the UW.

Masonic Center to undergo major makeover

Masonic Center to undergo major makeover

The Masonic Center, a piece of Spokane history which was sold last fall, is now about to undergo a massive makeover.

Since the early 1900's the Masonic Center has been a Spokane landmark.

"I thought the building was a spectacular building, very grand, historic building," owners Greg and Luisita Francis Newell said.

The center now has a new name, Riverside Place, as well as new owners and now its getting a 21st Century makeover. The building is filled with intricate detail found on all six floors, like the grand staircase and a parlor named after President Teddy Roosevelt, who attended the building's groundbreaking. There is character in every corner that the Newells don't want to take away.

"It's about re-purposing the building, not tearing it down or changing the uniqueness of it," the Newells said.

While they don't know when the renovations will be done, they do know what they want this place to look like. A space not just for special events, but also have two bars, two restaurants, two lounges and a cafe all under one roof.

Spokane real estate market bouncing back

Spokane real estate market bouncing back

Things are looking up for anyone hoping to sell their home as the latest S & P report finds home prices nationally up 10.3-percent in the first quarter of this year.

It's a slower gain than the two previous quarters when prices rose more than 11-percent each, and home prices still remain about 18-percent below their peak in the summer of 2006. But there's a silver lining for buyers and sellers right now as realtors say prices are hot and inventory is low so houses are selling fast.

"In the last week we had about eight showings, so every day I'm getting the house ready, fixed up cleaned up, because people have been coming in and out," Laird Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen has already had two offers this week for his South Hill home, a five bedroom, three bath house with a yard, guest house and a lot of personality.

"Our retro 1939 door handles. Pretty good amount of storage here on the South Hill, we have a lot of storage here," he said.

Right now there are roughly 2,500 homes on the market in Spokane. Realtors say demand is triumphing over actual inventory so when a home is priced well it's selling fast.

Demand for downtown housing running high

Demand for downtown housing running high

Developers are spending millions to bring homes to downtown Spokane and people are buying them up. Developers say young professionals are moving to downtown for the nightlife, and Baby Boomers are moving to feel young again.

All 106 rentals in Kendall Yards are completely filled. If you want to buy a condo or town home, you'll have to wait.

"I like being so close to downtown," said Roger Bosky.

Roger and Mary Ann Bosky bought a home in Kendall Yards last summer before it was built. They moved into the house in January.

"So we looked at the plans and we bought the house and put our house on the South Hill on the market," Mary Ann said.

Greenstone Homes is developing Kendall Yards. They plan to build 1200 units. 300 have been built so far. Greenstone CEO Jim Frank says once the homes are completed, they're quickly off the market.

"Our single family neighborhood townhouses and single family homes are all sold out," Frank said.

New Worthy Hotel rendering released

New Worthy Hotel rendering released

An updated rendering of the new Worthy Hotel that is being built on the corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Washington has been released. The new rendering keeps the traditional brick style while adding several features.

This new rendering shows a street level patio and restaurant as well as a second level balcony and penthouse. The middle section of the hotel now comes out adding some depth rather than being a flat plane. There is also an updated sidewalk and valet treatment.

The hotel is scheduled to open July 2015.

First rendering of downtown Spokane convention hotel released

First rendering of downtown Spokane convention hotel released

The Spokane Public Facilities district released the first rendering of new "convention" hotel at Spokane Falls Blvd and Washington Street, across from the INB Performing Arts Center.  The image was released following the PFD's approval of the property.

News release from the Spokane Public Facilities District:  

Historic, Modern Home for sale on the South Hill

Historic, Modern Home for sale on the South Hill

One of Spokane's most historic homes is on the market for the first time ever. You can own the mid-century, Modern home of Joel E. Ferris, II and his wife Mary Jean for $1.1 million.

 

The South Hill home is one of only two Modern architecture homes listed on the Spokane Register of Historic Places. The home was designed by Bruce Walker and completed in 1955. Walker also designed the Ridpath Motor Inn (1964), the Spokane Opera House (1974) and the Metropolitan Financial Center which is now occupied by Wells Fargo (1984). In 1960, the Ferris home won the First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.

 

Joel and Mary Jean loved the simplicity of Modern, post-war, design. They opened JOEL Inc. in Downtown Spokane in 1950 because the market for Modern furniture and home goods was lacking. The Ferris' wanted their family home to reflect this love, but the neighborhood association around Comstock Park didn't approve of the unique design.