SpokanePlanner

Planning, Economic Development, Politics

Downtown Spokane Outside Baby Bar 2017

Who’s Moving to Spokane?

For those with shorter attention spans, I’ll start with the fun stuff first. For those with longer attention spans, I’ll tell you how I did it later.   Top 10 metros in the nation moving to Spokane: Seattle-Tacoma, WA Portland, OR San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA Los Angeles, CA Denver, CO San Diego, CA Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA Phoenix, AZ Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA It appears the going local hypothesis about tech refugees relocating from west coast cities is proving itself correct. Manageable traffic, affordable homes, and plenty of urban amenities is a product that sure sounds nice when migrating from the […]

Shadle Park Water Tower Spokane

Ranking All Spokane Neighborhoods

City of Spokane law, via our charter, establishes official neighborhood councils for the purpose of advising the city council and mayor. By virtue of city law, officials must define where neighborhoods are in Spokane and create boundaries and place names for them – a fascinating and fun exercise. Spokane formally has 29 official neighborhood designations. While many of the neighborhoods and their boundaries are accurate (at least from SpokanePlanner’s perspective), there are numerous official neighborhood boundaries that are either too broad, too influenced by irrational politics, or are not geographically accurate. Thus, SpokanePlanner’s list is a bit different than the […]

Moving to Spokane

Moving to Spokane

Spokane Relocation Guide Here’s all you need to know about moving to Spokane. If you’re still considering relocating to Spokane and feel undecided, then check this post out: 12 Reasons to Relocate to Spokane.   1) The white trash era is (mostly) over Spokane has long held the reputation of being a grey, downtrodden community surrounded by  Aryan Nation brotherhoods and backwoods hillbillies. Good news is we’ve scoured much of the Aryan nonsense out of the region. As far as hillbillies go, we’re still surrounded by them but they’re actually a lot of fun. Just ignore their conversations about government, con-trails, […]

Spokane Planner

12 Reasons to Relocate to Spokane

1) Our Downtown is Dope Spokane’s downtown is amongst the healthiest in the nation. It’s not a neglected urban environment of surface parking lots surrounded by tattoo parlors and check cashing services. Nah, we’re better than that, and it’s why many new-comers decided to relocate to Spokane. Downtown has the big companies you want like Apple and Nordstrom but also plenty of mom-and-pops thriving in an active, walkable, mixed-use, and dynamic urban environment.   2) This House Cost $180,000 Yep, $180,000. Three beds, two baths — how much is a home like this in your market? Although much depends on […]

Comstock Park Spokane 2018

#16 Comstock Neighborhood

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods – Hipster Rating (out of 10): 1 Predominant Housing Prices:  Ownership: $325,000+ Rental: Very little, if any, rental options. Housing Density: Large single family residences. Mixed Use Rating: Poor   Comstock Neighborhood Description Comstock Neighborhood is a single family, upper income residential area on Spokane’s South Hill. Anchored by Comstock Park, the neighborhood benefits from its stability and superb location. From a planner’s perspective, the absence of sidewalks and an abundance of cul-de-sacs lesson Comstock’s neighborhood value. From a market perspective, however, Comstock is one of the highest valued neighborhoods on the list Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods.   Criteria An Identifiable […]

The View from High Drive Spokane

#15 High Drive Neighborhood

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods – Hipster Rating (out of 10): 1 Predominant Housing Prices:  Ownership: $600,000+ Rental: Very little, if any, rental options. Housing Density: Large single family residences, many of which are large enough to be characterized as estates. Mixed Use Rating: Poor   High Drive Neighborhood Description High Drive is one of Spokane’s premier neighborhoods. If you’re into status symbols, you’re gonna’ love High Drive. High Drive ranks low on this list for a variety of reasons that are described in detail below. Keep in mind, however, that this blog is written by an urban planner who values characteristics of traditional, walkable […]

Indian Canyon Waterfall Spokane

#11 Indian Canyon

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods — Hipster Rating (out of 10): 5 Predominant Housing Prices: Ownership: Around $250,000 but with much variance Rental: Around $1,200 Housing Density: Mostly single family in the lower reaches and mostly multi family in the upper reaches. Mixed Use Rating: Fair, due an abundance of recreational amenities.   Indian Canyon Neighborhood Description Indian Canyon brims with recreational amenities. If you like biking, hiking, or strolls with your dog in some of the best natural areas within Spokane, Indian Canyon Neighborhood abides. Only a couple short minutes from downtown, your commute is quick to the urban core. Indian Canyon takes […]

Spokane Medical District Condos

#10 Medical District

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods – Hipster Rating (out of 10): 9 Predominant Housing Prices: Ownership: Around $300,000 (mostly condos) Rentals: Around $1,200 Housing Density: High Mixed Use Rating: Good   Medical District Neighborhood Description Spokane’s Medical District is the newest addition to the rankings of best neighborhoods and, my, my, has it shot up the list in a hurry. Why? Because when SpokanePlanner was recently cooking around town taking photos for the Ranking All Spokane Neighborhood’s post, I was reintroduced to the quirks that create one of Spokane’s best neighborhoods – the steep hills, the great urban density, the mixed uses, the rich […]

University District Spokane

#9 University District

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods – Hipster Rating (out of 10): 9 Predominant Housing Prices: Ownership: About $150,000 Rentals: About $600 Housing Density: Moderate in most places Mixed Use Rating: Good   University District Neighborhood Description The University District is a relatively new phenomenon within Spokane. When Gonzaga University gained national notoriety in the late 1990s, enrollment skyrocketed. Once a small school with about 4,000 students, Gonzaga is now well over 10,000. Growth was so fast and furious for a few years, administrators have consciously decided to slow the enrollment rate to better allow for managed growth. In the meantime, Washington State […]

Olmsted Pocket Parks

#2 The South Hill

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods – Hipster Rating (out of 10): 5 Predominant Housing Prices: Ownership: Around $300,000 but with much variance Rentals: Around $1,000 but with much variance Housing Density: Low Mixed Use Rating: Fair   South Hill Neighborhood Description How does one define and organize the South Hill into a neighborhood? For those familiar with the area, they will be the first to tell you that the South Hill is a collective of neighborhoods with different neighborhood centers, architectural styles, development eras, walkability, and boundaries. For the purposes of ranking Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods, how does one choose between the neighborhoods surrounding […]

Hillyard Spokane

Metro Spokane’s Economic Development Toolbox

Don’t look now, but there are entities and jurisdictions within our fine metro working some economic development magic by leveraging real tools that attract real investment. It’s amazing how much can get done with market-driven revenue streams and public-driven economic development tools. What follows are metro Spokane’s most significant drivers of economic development.   1) Spokane City Council Whether you like it or not, Spokane City Council sets the tone for the metro. Urban policies start and end with our central city. Our suburbs will do what they will but, make no mistake, Spokane City Council is obligated to its […]

Spokane Economic Development

Insurgents and Disruption

There are 287 start-up accelerators in Silicon Valley. I just spent two days at one of the first of them, Plug and Play, whereby the likes of Google and PayPal were launched. If you’re curious about the leading edge of any given market sector, spend a couple days at Plug and Play watching three-minute start-up presentations. Silicon Valley deploys a unique language to describe innovative market opportunities. Words like insurgents, incumbents, platforms, space, ecosystem, acceleration, disruption – this is the lingo used by innovators and those who venture-fund them. Through the lens of Spokane’s economic development system, the words above […]

Downtown Spokane March 2017

How to Attract Tech Firms to Spokane

Spokane is on the cusp of tapping into deep pools of investment driven primarily by the tech sector and all its tributaries. Based primarily on our proximity to the coast’s big metro tech hubs (Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco), our affordable real estate, and our quality of life, the feeling is Spokane is poised to accept a wave of tech investments as well as all those tech refugees that come with them. Trouble is no one from Spokane’s public sector is actively engaged and working to attract all that money and talent restlessly sitting over on the coast. It’s time […]

SpokanePlanner 2016