The Dirt: Transit station on SFCC campus to consolidate area’s bus stops

May 26, 2019 GMT

Spokane Transit Authority is beginning construction on a transit station on the campus of Spokane Falls Community College, according to city permit data.

The $3 million project will relocate three existing bus stops on Fort George Wright Drive to one on-campus station. The work will rebuild Elliot Drive and install traffic signals at the intersection of Fort George Wright and Elliot.

The station will continue service for STA routes 20 and 33. The project is paid for with a $2.1 million regional mobility grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation and $830,000 from a local sales and use tax approved by voters in 2016 to fund STA’s Moving Forward plan.


The transit agency has a busy construction season ahead. Last week, permits were issued for a $5 million project to build a transit station on Spokane Community College’s campus, the eastern terminus for Spokane Transit Authority’s Central City Line, a bus rapid transit route that recently received $53.4 million from the federal government and will begin operating in 2021.

The station at SFCC is not related to the Central City Line but is part of a larger plan developed by STA, SFCC and the West Hills neighborhood seeking to build on the momentum in development that has happened near the campus over the past decade. Construction began on River Run, a housing subdivision, in 2005 and dozens of homes have been built, but the project has yet to fulfill its original vision of raising commercial buildings as well as multiple housing types beyond the single-family home.

The larger plan also envisions a different Fort George Wright Drive. Instead of four lanes of traffic along a street lined with a few trees and utility poles, the arterial would have two lanes, town homes, restaurants, bike lanes, a treed median and traffic lights. Planners envision an urban, walkable development in place of a motorist’s thoroughfare.

The SFCC project was designed by ALSC Architects, of Spokane. Coffman Engineers, also of Spokane, did the engineering. – N.D.

River City Pizza to open second location in Spokane Valley

River City Pizza, an Otis Orchards staple with plenty of loyal customers, is opening a second restaurant in the Spokane Valley.

Owners Jacqueline Barnard and her husband, Phillip, are planning to launch the establishment at 17018 E. Sprague Ave. in a 5,000-square-foot building that will also house Genus Brewing Co.

“The (restaurant) in Otis is a well-oiled machine, and we are ready to take on some additional stuff,” Jacqueline Barnard said. “It seems like a really great spot, and the owners of the building actually called us because there’s a brewery going in next door.”


Barnard said they are renovating 2,500 square feet in the building to accommodate the new restaurant, which is anticipated to be open mid-July.

River City Pizza was founded more than two decades ago by former owners John and Bridgette Tiffany. The Barnards purchased the restaurant in 2016, which is known for its fresh dough and cheese that’s grated in-house.

The Barnards opened a second location last year at the Newman Lake Marina, but it was shuttered because new owners acquired the property with plans to convert it into a cabin.

River City Pizza’s flagship restaurant at 4707 N. Harvard Road has gained a following in Spokane Valley, including a customer who became the establishment’s first inductee into its “700 Club” for placing 700 pizza orders. – A.E.

Work to begin on repurposing of old Pacific Fruit warehouse

Work to transform the old Pacific Fruit & Produce Co. building in Spokane’s University District will commence, according to permits issued by the city.

The work is valued at $700,000 and includes an interior remodel and addition of a second level to the building at 102 E. Main Ave. When complete, the 97-year-old building will house a restaurant, coffee shop and new home for JMK & Associates, a Spokane-based financial company that purchased the 8,960-square-foot, triangular warehouse in November for $1.4 million.

The former warehouse in what used to be an industrial end of downtown was built in 1922 and originally called the Auto Freight Depot before it was taken over by the fruit company. Trucks backed up to the building’s loading dock that fronts Pine Street.

The building’s brick and heavy timber construction will be maintained, according to HDG Architecture, which is leading the renovation. A new concrete floor will be poured throughout the building, and new windows will be installed. The building’s original loading dock will be redesigned for a restaurant patio, and the existing “Pacific Fruit & Produce Co.” signs will remain.

The project’s construction manager is JW Construction, of Mill Creek, Washington. HDG Architecture, of Spokane, designed the renovation. – N.D.

Contact Nick Deshais at (509) 459-5440 or nickd@spokesman.com.

Amy Edelen may be reached at (509) 459-5581 or amye@spokesman.com.