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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
This statue (title and artist unknown) provides a great vantage point overlooking the main drop of Spokane Falls and a panoramic view of Downtown Spokane. It’s located in Riverfront Park. March, 2011.
Another view of Wall Street this time looking south. March, 2011.
Wall Street in Downtown Spokane was refurbished as a pedestrian mall in the 1990s. June, 2004.
The view of Howard Street looking south in Downtown Spokane. June, 2004.
A view looking south along Post Street, Downtown. June, 2004.
You want some nice pictures, or are you the holy type? Just a random back-alley in Downtown Spokane. June, 2004.
Riverside Avenue looking east in June, 2004.
Main Avenue in June, 2004, looking westerly. The building on the right is Macy’s.
This great wide sidewalk is on Spokane Falls Boulevard adjacent to Riverfront Park. That old brick pyramid fountain has since been removed. June, 2004.
At the date this picture was taken, Downtown had three spiral staircases leading up to its skywalk system (the third being just off picture left). One of them has since been demolished to make way for a real estate investment, and the final two (showed in this June, 2004 picture) are still pretty cool, nonetheless.
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.
These are Spokane’s two tallest buildings. The white one clocks in at about 24 stories (243 feet), while the grey one clocks in at about 29 stories (288). Both were built and completed in the early 80s. Photo taken June, 2004.
That little building must be original, huh? June, 2004.
This over-sized Radio Flyer is a popular play area in Riverfront Park. June, 2004.
Downtown Spokane from Riverfront Park. June, 2004.
The sidewalk view outside of River Park Square. Downtown Spokane, June, 2004.
Steps along the Spokane River adjacent to the Opera House. June, 2004.
The old YMCA building in Riverfront Park was demolished in 2011. This picture was taken in June, 2004.
Looking toward the South Hill from Downtown Spokane. June, 2004.
Historic and modern architecture in Downtown Spokane. June, 2004.
Spokane’s most classic urban scene — Downtown’s Pavilion and Clock Tower in Riverfront Park. June, 2004.
The Olmsted Brothers have a vision for this place — the Spokane River George looking west from the Monroe Street Bridge, Downtown. November, 2003.