Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Developer Ron Wells' plan for the Ridpath revealed

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM

For months apartment developer Ron Wells, well-known for restoring historic buildings downtown, has been rumored to be first in line to try to save the troubled Ridpath hotel. But when asked about it, he’s kept consistently silent.

But minutes from an August 21 pre-development conference reveal plans for a $2 million project called the Ridpath Club Apartment, possibly beginning this October. The project would convert the Ridpath tower and the next door “Y” building into apartments on top of restaurants, storefronts, and basement parking.

There’d still be lot of hoops to jump through, of course: Permits, inspections, repairs, elevator repairs, and actually purchasing the building from its sundry entangled owners.

Stephen Antonietti, a comparatively inexperienced developer who’s poured countless hours into bringing the Ridpath back from its No Occupy Order,had proposed a more ambitious plan, turning the Ridpath into a massive hotel/entertainment complex. Antonietti has not returned calls during the last few weeks.

Meanwhile, Mickey Brown, with Eagle River Construction, confirms that he’s one of Wells’ partners on the project. Brown already owns a very small piece of the Ridpath — he was one of the many business owners who fell victim to the hotel’s failure. Brown says he’s under an agreement with third-party not to elaborate more on the details of the project.

He does hint that there’s at least one more person involved on the project with himself and Wells. “Anyone who’s had success in Spokane over the last forty years, he’s done it,” Brown says of the mystery party. “Not a bad track record.”

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About The Author

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, Daniel Walters is the Inlander's senior investigative reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...