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Maybe he can get some money off this project where he ACTUALLY does some project in Spokane!

Brian Sayrs

I recently met some folks from SERA, and they seem to know what they're doing. Hopefully, Rob is finding his partnership fruitful.

We don't currently have a regional understanding of the importance of these kinds of projects. Still, too many of our regional leaders overestimate their economic prowess and, referencing such illusory expertise, discount the irreplaceable vitality generated by a strong, and unapologetic, urban presence.

I think we're headed in the right direction, but the question remains: will we come to the essential realization before we've driven away a critical mass of urban developers to more responsive communities?


Mr. Brewster has accomplished a great deal in Spokane and I'm a bit confused by the comment from Dan. I think that Spokane moves too slowly for RB and when a project is completed and filled with tenants the sharks begin to circle in an attempt to drain off your core tenants. The market is growing slowly, but we tend to role out the red carpet for the out of town investors and pull the rug from under our own hometown boys! Brewster was the best landlord I ever had!

Silent Bahb

Not to mention, Brian, the overriding tendancy of elected officials everywhere to take what's offered over what could be - regardless of the potential of the site.

Background discussion aside, I like the fact that this building retains so much of the old warehouse while still updating the look and style of the building. The most attractive part to me is the fact that the pedestrian atmosphere is retained - unlike the new Davenport Tower, for example.


The reason this project happens in Portland and not Spokane? Real estate prices in the pearl are outrageous and the same building materials yield much higher returns there than here.


Remember the Vox Tower and other proposed towers in the past?
Maybe a smaller project might be in order to actually accomplish without getting the community excited about some grand project that probable won't be built!


dan, that sounds like a great idea for many communities, including Spokane.

It is bizarre how discussions about urban planning swerve between delusions of grandeur and "Oh my God nothing EVER happens here!"

Rob Brewster


Perhaps a quick lesson in economics will shed some light on your criticism. Apartment rents in Spokane are far too low - high end max average $.90/sf/month vs $2.50 in Seattle and $2.25 in Portland. Construction costs are about exactly the same in Portland and Spokane (higher in Seattle). Yes the land is more expensive but you can afford to build higher and your demand is many times greater.

Portland offers via TIF loans and grants to development projects ($1.4M at ZERO percent interest on my project in Portland) - Spokane offers no such thing. Seattle and Portland have robust diverse economies - Spokane does not.

Spokane suffers from all of the "bad" (high minimum wage, high sales tax on construction, the list goes on) that King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties force on the state and very little of the good (Port authorities, better transportation systems (light rail, airport), the list goes on). Portland has ZERO sales tax on construction (Spokane 9.0%).

We need to get the playing field level in Spokane - instead of focusing on things that don't get done because of what you perceive as a developers fault, talk to you legislators and move to make a real difference.

As for the Vox - help me get the traffic mitigation fees waived (Seattle and Portland do not have any) and get the BID to waive their fees (Seattle and Portland do not have any) and let's get going with a project. That will be a start in leveling the playing field.

I assume you have seen the things I have done.... My projects have helped move Spokane forward, encouraged young people to stay in town, employed hundreds and provided millions in sales tax. I aim to do a lot more - and will do them when the economics and the leadership is in a position to be helpful.


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