The West End of Downtown-is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. A little more than ten years ago it was home to a more than its fair share of prostitution, drugs and crime. Welcome to the recovery.
With the hangover from those earlier times far behind it, things are looking good in here. Few places in downtown exist where the pedestrian can get a feel for what the scale of Spokane once was during the mid to early part of last century. Fortunately the area avoided the urban renewal efforts of the 70s and 80s. Many fine examples of early Spokane architecture are represented, and reflect traditional downtown apartment living.
Often referred to as the "Davenport Arts District' [the DAV] this place is home to a good number of galleries and shops, but those short-lived 'artist lofts' are few and far between. Loft space, if it exists, is likely being developed for condos, will soon to be developed for condos, or is planned to be developed for condos. A shortlist of newer developments include: Bluechip lofts, Ella's Center Stage, and the Montvale Hotel among others.
Many point to the Rivepark Square as the reason behind the downtown revitalization. While that may be partially true, Metrospokane would like to remind people that... IT'S A MALL, and as such it seeks to fill every need within it's walls. Few Pottery Barn shoppers will walk the four blocks to experience what the DAV is starting to offer us again: downtown living, local merchants, pedestrian scale, and even an old tree-lined boulevard. In many ways, the development in the area is a response to the formulaic, predictable approach of Riverpark Square; the DAV can truly boast about being the area that has done the most to bring back downtown living. No other part of downtown can really compare for 24 hour activity...ok, make that 18 hours...but it's a trend.