The Spokane Energy District

Illustration: Different types of renewable energy.

Image via Wikipedia

Spokane has a pretty book (economic development people produce lots of glossy reports!) that identifies “target areas”:

  • University District
  • East Sprague (also known as International District and South University District)
  • North Bank (of river near downtown)
  • Foothills Drive (“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”)
  • West Spokane Energy District (leadership in “energy conservation, renewable energy, energy industry sector development”)
  • East Hillyard Industrial (“living wage pay for skilled trade, administration and entry level positions”)
  • Market Street (“high intensity mixed-used… apartments, condos, row houses, retail services, … vibrant street environment”)

Two words show up throughout the last 4 district descriptions: “vacant” and “brownfield”.  A brownfield is often kinda a toxic waste dump and might eventually get Federal money to clean it up.

And that’s how I learned about the South University District, one of those Districts that shows up in some plans but not others (like the one above). Consistency in planning might be helpful.

All the big gun stuff is in the first 3 areas on the list. If you are thinking of owning Spokane business property or apartments, the only game in town is downtown.

The South University District

The South University District holds much vacant land and dilapidated buildings in need of repair. Map shows vacant land.


Map shows the poor quality of many existing buildings:

A “public/private” partnership is to be created to fix this run down area, turning it in to a mixed use, high density residential and high paying medical/business office center with high earning shoppers who will spend their money in the downtown core.

There are many vacant and run-down buildings and empty parcels in Spokane Valley and North Spokane.  The strategy of using tax money and zoning to “urban renew” the central core has been very effective at providing great benefits to a few while the rest of the area languishes. (CBD=central business district)

Did the Valley Mall and other areas require large public/private partnerships to come into fruition or did they do so on their own?