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The Dirt: Construction consultant moves into historic downtown building

August 13, 2017 GMT

Roen Associates Inc., a Spokane-based construction consulting firm, has leased a historic downtown building once occupied by Kenneth Brooks, a renowned midcentury architect and urban planner.

The 3,090-square-foot, two-story office building at 121 South Wall St. is a step for the Spokane company, which occupied a smaller building at 1526 West Riverside before the move.

The building was built in 1900, but Brooks was responsible for the interior renovation and expansion of the building in 1965. He kept an office in this building as well. Roger Roen, who started the namesake firm in 1988, said his new space was “a very architectural building.”

“It’s nice. We’ve done some improvements,” he said.

His firm’s projects include work on the Fox Theater Renovation, Woldson Performing Arts Center at Gonzaga University, Spokane Falls Community College Student Activity Center, Boise State University Union Building and the Creighton Athletic Facility in Omaha, Nebraska.

Brooks is best known for the Kenneth and Edna Brooks House on West Sumner Avenue on Spokane’s South Hill. He designed the Avista headquarters on East Mission Avenue as well as many structures for Expo ’74, which he helped plan. Brooks was part of an influential group of midcentury architects who called Spokane home that included Royal McClure, Tom Adkison, Bruce Walker, Bill Trogdon and Warren Heylman.

Vic Overholser, of SDS Realty, and Joe Dinnison, of John L. Scott Real Estate, led the transaction.

Playfair continues construction

Playfair Commerce Park continues its quick buildout, with Building Four securing its final tenant.

IDI Distributors, a Spokane-based insulation distribution company, has leased the last available space in the building. Divcon Inc., of Spokane Valley, is performing the $200,000 interior construction for the company.

With the 55,000-square-foot Building Four complete, the only available space is in Building Five. More space at the park will open when a 75,000-square-foot structure, called Building 10, is completed in February.

The east Spokane commerce park is the former Playfair horse race track that has been converted to 58 acres of land zoned heavy industrial near the core of Spokane. The park is within a community empowerment zone, which allows the deferral of sales tax for manufacturing construction.

Additionally, a new arterial route on Altamont Street and Ferry Avenue opened last month. The road swings under a Union Pacific Railroad underpass on Altamont and turns east to eventually connect with Freya Street and at a traffic light at Alki Avenue.

CrossFit gym opening near GU

CrossFit Duratus, a local gym offering the branded, high-intensity fitness regimen, will move into a new space near Gonzaga University.

Gym owner Kevin Longmeier will own the building through Longmeier Properties, a partnership with his father, Greg Longmeier.

The $765,000 building is nearly complete at 711 N. Helena St. in the Chief Garry neighborhood. Longmeier said the gym will be open Sept. 5 and occupy 7,500 square feet of the building’s space. Heidi Crow Massage has another 500 square feet. The remaining 2,000 square feet is open for lease.

The structure is made from cross-laminated lumber – panels made from compressed wood that are strong enough to replace concrete and steel in multistory buildings.

Beacon Builders, of Spokane, led the project’s construction. The building was designed by Sayler Owens Kerr Design Studio, of Sandpoint, and a Studio Called Make, of Spokane.

Ryan Oberg, of Goodale and Barbieri, is the leasing agent for the building.