The Dirt: First permits issues for construction of U-District’s Catalyst Building

December 23, 2018 GMT

The University District Gateway Bridge opened last week, which was quickly followed by the city issuing building permits to Avista Corp. at the bridge’s south landing.

The permits signal the beginning of construction for the five-story, 164,000-square-foot Catalyst Building. Located on East Sprague Avenue, the building will house three degree programs and about 1,000 Eastern Washington University students when it’s completed in April 2020.

As the main tenant, EWU will move its computer science, electrical engineering and visual communication design programs from its Cheney campus to the building.


The permits, for the first building’s core and shell, value the first phase of the project at $18.6 million. Overall, construction is expected to cost more than $50 million.

The structure will rely on cross-laminated timbers, a super-strong wood product developed by California-based Katerra. They will be produced at the company’s factory in Spokane Valley.

The building project is being developed jointly by Avista and McKinstry, which say it will be “the first net-zero energy and zero carbon building in Eastern Washington.”

In June, the Spokane City Council committed $430,000 for street improvements, water service and other infrastructure to serve the Catalyst building, the largest economic incentive ever offered by the city.

Katerra is the project’s general contractor and architect. Structural engineering will be done by KPFF. – N.D.

$2.2 million remake, expansion set for downtown hotel

A $2.2 million remodel of a downtown Spokane hotel will add 2,500 square feet, remake its facade and renovate some interior spaces, according to permits issued by the city.

La Quinta Hotel, 211 S. Division St., formerly the FairBridge Inn Express Spokane has 79 guest rooms and 37,300 square feet. An addition will add 2,550 square feet to the four-story building, built in 1987.

The hotel is owned by Rajbir and Sukhbir Sandhu, who purchased the building in June 2017 for $3.85 million.

Fowler General Construction, of Richland, is the project’s contractor. It was designed by Russell Page Architects, of Spokane. – N.D.

204-unit apartment complex planned in Airway Heights

Plans were filed this month with Spokane County to develop an apartment complex in Airway Heights.

Beau West Apartments will be on more than 9 acres at 7410 S. Hayford Road.

The development will include a 15-building, 204-unit complex with 319 parking spaces and 68 garages. It also will feature a recreation building, pool and picnic shelter, according to plans filed with the county.


West Terrace Properties LLC sold three parcels of land to Beau West Apartments LLC for $2.4 million in September.

The development could be expanded on two parcels south of the site, according to an environmental study.

The project engineer is Spokane Valley-based Whipple Consulting Engineers Inc.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2019.

Reporter Nicholas Deshais may be reached at (509) 459-5440 or nickd@spokesman.com.

Contact reporter Amy Edelen at (509) 459-5581 or amye@spokesman.com.