SpokanePlanner

Planning, Economic Development, Politics

Downtown Spokane Sunset

#3 Downtown

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods – Hipster Rating (out of 10): 10 Predominant Housing Prices: Ownership: Around $500,000+ Rentals: Around $1,000 but with much variance Housing Density: High Mixed Use Rating: Nearly Perfect   Downtown Spokane Neighborhood Description From a planning and economic development perspective, there are few better places than Downtown Spokane. Compared to most downtowns throughout the nation, Spokane’s is among the healthiest. For many coming off the farm fields and timberlands surrounding the city, Downtown represents an easily accessible cosmopolitan experience providing all the big-city amenities one would need. From a livability perspective, Downtown’s resurgence as a viable residential […]

Downtown Spokane (4)

The Case to Increase DSP’s Budget by $4 Million Per Year

The Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) is a private, non-profit agency that manages a roughly $1.5 million annual budget. The bulk of their annual budget is generated from a special Parking and Business Improvement Area tax (otherwise known as a “business improvement district”).[i] Trouble is our City’s Parking and Business Improvement Area isn’t even in the parking business, but it ought to be. Annual revenue from the City of Spokane’s public parking meters is about $4 million per year (and growing). By transitioning DSP into the public parking business, the City and downtown will have a real, market driven tool to […]

Macy's Downtown Spokane

A Tax Increment Analysis for the Macy’s Block

How to Finance Incentives to Stimulate Quality Redevelopment — The City of Spokane has $1,795,000 to partner with a developer to improve the derelict Macy’s block into a premier mixed-use project. The mayor’s office just doesn’t know it yet. Otherwise known as incentive money, it can be used to finance eligible public improvements that may happen in or around the Macy’s block as a result of redevelopment. At the end of this post is a link to the raw spreadsheet used to develop the above estimation. I invite you to download it, perhaps make it better. A developer is responsible […]

Macy's Madonna, Spokane

A Redevelopment Plan For Downtown Macy’s

A 10-Step Plan for the old Macy’s Block — Losing a downtown retail anchor like Macy’s isn’t something cities tend to brag about. But, despite the disappointing loss, many see an opportunity to rehabilitate an old building right in the heart of downtown Spokane. In a future post I intend to explore why Macy’s closed. For now, however, we need to get to work. If leaders in Spokane City Hall are at all interested in leveraging Macy’s closure into an economic development, smart growth, and quality of life opportunity (as I hope they are), there is no time to waste. […]

Spokane Smokestacks

Spokane Smokestacks

These twin smokestacks are a prominent part of Spokane’s skyline. Once an operating steam plant that provided heat for the bulk of downtown, the operation was abandoned several decades back and the structure remained vacant and dilapidated until local developers revitalized the building. Today, an array of hipster tenants occupy the structure, known as Steam Plant Square. Picture taken June, 2004.

SpokanePlanner 2016