Thursday, February 12, 2015

Snag hit in mystery retailer deal

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 9:45 AM

A large national retailer that’s considering moving into downtown Spokane is objecting to two conditions the city council has placed on it getting legal rights to a stretch of street.

The mystery retailer (sources are worried that if they say who it is, it’ll jeopardize the deal) is eyeing the corner of Main and Wall streets for a new location. But to make the new location work, it would need 17 feet of public right-of-way on Wall Street, meaning that the company would have legal right to it after they pay a fee and the city council signs off on it.

City council is supportive of the project, but in a study session last month several members wanted to impose two conditions on giving the company the right-of-way. Under the conditions, the right-of-way would revert back to the city if the building remained vacant for five years or if the building came down.

But according to Council President Ben Stuckart, these conditions were too much for the bankers financing the retailer and he’s not sure when the project will move forward.

“Apparently it makes it very hard to secure financing for the building,” adds Councilman Mike Allen.

Allen says he doesn’t know what the status of the project is, but he suggests that the city could still grant the right-of-way to the mystery retailer. If things fell through, he says, the city could use its condemnation powers to wrest back the right-of-way.

Bryn West, general manager at River Park Square, a company owned by the Cowles family that has an interest in the project, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. Neither did Mark Richard, president of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, which is courting the retailer. 

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