Spokane Valley continues to grow and change with many businesses and industries fulfilling area needs or creating something new. However, one thing many developers seem to have in common is the desire to build in a way that preserves the community’s connections to its natural environment.
One area that has seen increased interest from developers is a place along the Spokane River in the center of the Valley, called Mirabeau Point. The 88-acre site, (also sometimes referred to as “the shoe” due to its shape on maps) is bordered by Mirabeau Parkway to the west, the Spokane River to the north and east, and the BNSF railroad to the south.
Jeff Kliengartner, Public Information Officer for the City of Spokane Valley, said interest in the land has been growing since 2017 when the City updated its comprehensive plan. The City’s vision for the area is to provide a variety of complementary and integrated uses, that support a walkable community.
“This area is a focus for our economic development efforts as the Spokane River, Centennial Trail, and CenterPlace Regional Events Center, and the recent addition of the West Lawn Plaza presents many opportunities for synergy,” said Kliengartner.
A majority of the site is currently owned by Centennial Real Estate Investments and associated LLC’s. Doug Yost, Vice President of Centennial Real Estate Investments, said the land has been owned by the company for over 100 years but it has taken a while to decide its best use.
“I’m in charge of acquisitions, development, and real estate developments for the company,” Yost said. “, I was asked about ten years ago to come up with the best strategy for this property whether that was selling parcels to other developers or developing it ourselves.”
Centennial initially owned all of the 88-acre sites, but recently sold some parcels for others to develop on. The first is a 1.87-acre section to GL8 Hospitality for the development of the Tru by Hilton. The other is a 6-acre parcel to the Inland Group for the development of senior living apartments to be called Affinity at Mirabeau Park.
Located at 13509 E. Mansfield, the Tru by Hilton started construction in December 2019 and had its official opening almost one year later. The 43,000-square-foot hotel includes 92 guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, indoor pool and hot tub, an outdoor patio with a fire pit, a 24-hour ‘Eat & Sip’ market, and six bicycles that guests can use free of charge.
As for the Affinity at Mirabeau Point project, city records show construction broke ground in May 2021. Located just east of CenterPlace Regional Event Center along the Spokane River, plans for the site include a 170-unit senior living facility, four garages, a swimming pool, dog park, and community garden.
Yost said Centennial currently owns 76 acres of land and in April began construction on infrastructure for a currently unnamed development that will utilize between 20 to 30 acres.
“Currently we’re building the roads, sewer, water, and a binding site plan for the land that will allow us to make different parcels available either to sell or develop on,” he said.
Since the area is zoned mixed-use, Yost says the vision is for the new development will be similar to the city of Spokane Valley’s, a mix of residential and commercial in a riverside setting.
“The idea will be to bring in things like coffee shops or bakeries, that will generate walkability, especially with its proximity to the convention center and the YMCA,” said Yost. “The next step would probably be residential rooftops and then retail. We’re still exploring additional possibilities, but we do know we want to have residential housing with walkability, meaning access to trails and amenities like parks.”
Yost said access to outdoor recreation such as the Centennial Trail and the Spokane River, as well as planned projects like the Valley River Loop Trail along the river’s north bank will be important to the development.
“The more we can do to improve the trail system the better. We have the luxury of being on the Centennial Trail already, but a loop will allow for continuous movement,” he said.
Yost said Centennial Real Estate Investments has seen a lot of support for the project both from the City of Spokane Valley and the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“The City has been great to work with and the Chamber has been an excellent resource as they promote our projects in the community, as well as keep us informed of other things going on around us.” he said. “Being able to partner with these organizations keeps us wanting to continue to do more projects in the area and we’re excited for what’s to come.”