Good mix makes Central Valley area an attractive landing spot

September 24, 2017 GMT

Some days former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite can hear howling coyotes from her home on Shelley Lake.

Other days it’s the sounds of turkeys, geese or band practice at Central Valley High School, a skip away from her backyard.

National retailers and restaurant chains on Sullivan and Sprague are just down the road. Downtown Spokane and Coeur d’Alene are less than a 20-minute drive.

The Central Valley is a mix of semi-rural and suburban with a wide-ranging demographic of residents, commercial growth and urban development.

“It’s a mixed area, a lot of diversity,” Wilhite said. “All your needs accommodated without having to go a couple miles in any direction, and that’s attractive.”


The Spokane Valley Mall is the primary shopping hub with a host of restaurants, but local staples such as Dave’s Bar and Grill are also popular.

Residential neighborhoods, apartment complexes and communities such as the Shelley Lake Estates make up an area, which also is a recreation hub. The YMCA, Spokane River and Centennial Trail are among this area’s more popular pursuits.

In the Central Valley School District, which includes Central Valley and University high schools, there are more than 13,000 students in 23 schools.

Wilhite remembers 30 years ago when most of the Central Valley area was fields and acreage with a meatpacking plant near Shelley Lake, where around 1,500 people now live.

“You could probably find the old bones at the bottom of the water,” she said. “It’s grown a lot since then.”