News
Leasing and Development
Dec/22/2005

Purcell Systems to lease additional space in SBIP

By Linn Parish
JOURNAL OF BUSINESS

On track to more than double its revenues this year, Purcell Systems Inc. is leasing additional space in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, just seven months after moving to new, larger quarters there, says company President and CEO Pete Chase.

The Spokane Valley-based maker of outdoor telecommunications-equipment cabinets moved last April into an 82,000 square-foot building at 16125 E. Euclid, in the business park portion of the big park, from smaller quarters in Liberty Lake. Earlier this month, the company leased an additional 51,000 square feet of warehouse space in the industrial portion of the park, roughly a quarter-mile north of its operations on Euclid, giving it a total of 133,000 square feet of space.

"We were looking for a Frisbee or something when we moved into this place," Chase says of the company's main space on Euclid. "We had so much space. We didn't think we'd fill it this quickly."

The company, however, now needs more warehouse space after a surge in sales during the last half of this year which Chase attributes mainly to further penetration into its principal market, which is supplying wireless carriers.

Purcell has grown quickly in that sector in recent years, Chase says. He declines to disclose revenue figures, but says the company will more than double its sales this year compared with 2004 , after doubling its revenues last year.

In October, Inc. magazine ranked Purcell as the 21st fastest growing private company in the U.S. and reported that the company had a 2,273 percent growth in sales between 2002, which was its third year in business, and 2004.

Chase says Purcell currently has 138 full-time employees and 120 temporary workers. That's up from 95 employees and no temps at this time last year, he says. All but seven of its workers work in the Spokane area.

Next year, Chase says, the company hopes to continue to grow by both selling more cabinets to the "regional Bells," which are the companies that provide telephone service, and increasing its market share in the wireless sector.

Also, Purcell plans to boost its international presence. This past fall, the company contracted with a manufacturer in Poland that will make Purcell's cabinets for customers in Europe. Chase says the company currently is looking to hire a handful of engineers to work in Poland with that contract manufacturer.

Currently, Purcell is working to forge similar relationships with contract manufacturers in Mexico, Brazil, and China.

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Leasing and Development
Dec/16/2005

Hemp company to open Spokane office

Firm hopes U.S. will remove label of classified substance, cites widespread use in Canada

Meghann M. Cuniff/Staff writer
Spokesman Review

A company that distributes hemp products and hopes to spread knowledge about the benefits of industrial hemp is opening a branch in Spokane .

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based U.S. Hemp Co. has leased space in the Spokane Business and Industrial Park and will begin distributing clothes and other hemp products from there in January.

The move is partly a result of the affordability of the 20-cents-per-square-foot industrial space and of Spokane 's proximity to Canada , a major producer of hemp, company President Aaron Carvajal said. But Carvajal said the move is also a major part of the company's effort to spread knowledge of the hemp fiber's beneficial qualities.

"The ultimate goal is to educate the general population enough so that the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency) can no longer claim that hemp is marijuana," Carvajal said.

Hemp comes from the stems and stalks of the cannabis plant, whereas marijuana is the plant's flower. Plants must be grown tall to produce hemp, and that results in a type of cross contamination that Carvajal said reduces the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp contains extremely low levels of THC, thus smoking it does not produce the high that smoking marijuana does.

It's been illegal to grow hemp in the United States since 1970. The DEA classifies hemp as a controlled substance, though it is not illegal to possess hemp products.

The hemp industry is experiencing considerable growth, with hemp food- and beauty- product sales increasing by 50 percent during the last year, according to the Hemp Industries Association. Canada allows the production of industrial hemp, and Canadian farmers report stellar increases in production and profits from their hemp plants, according to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.

Hemp fiber can be used to make clothes, paper and other textiles, and hemp seeds can be used in foods or crushed to produce fuel. Hemp is considered to be one of the strongest fibers in the world and can last much longer than cotton or other fibers. Hemp plants take a few months to grow and require no herbicides and little pesticide.

Carvajal said many myths surround the hemp industry and have paved the way for the ban on hemp production in this country. Too many people have a misconception that the hemp business is an attempt to legalize marijuana through backdoor tactics, he said.

"They think it's a hippie business, a counterculture business, a pot business, and it's far from that," Carvajal said.

Though Carvajal said he supports using marijuana for medicinal purposes, he keeps his views about the drug separate from his work in the hemp industry.

"I like not to mix the two because that's the biggest thing we're trying to stay away from," he said.

Spokane resident Linda Estep, a consultant who's helping Carvajal get his company operating here, said the public's association of hemp with marijuana is partly a result of people in the hemp industry with two agendas: legalizing hemp production and legalizing marijuana consumption.

"Unfortunately, I think the industry has kind of perpetuated that a little bit," Estep said. "We're hoping we can kind of break through from that."

Estep said she does not support legalized marijuana, but, like Carvajal, she keeps her views on marijuana separate from her views on hemp.

The U.S Hemp Co. formed in 2004, and its Spokane branch will be the first of the company''s operations outside Santa Cruz .

Copyright 2005. Reproduced with permission of The Spokesman-Review. Permission is granted in the interest of public discussion and does no imply endorsement of any product, service or organization otherwise mentioned herein.

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Acquisition and Investment
Nov/03/2005

Crown West Sells 60,000-SF Facility, Plans Adjacent 60,000-SF Office-Condo

By Amy Wolff Sorter
Globe St.com

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Six months after acquiring the 59,570-sf Giant Industries' corporate headquarters and the 8.4 acres on which it sits, Crown West Realty of Phoenix has sold the Class A building for $12.65 million to Chicago-based United Insurance Co. The company also plans to retain 4.4 acres of the adjacent undeveloped land for a 60,000-sf office condominium development.

According to Steven Brabant of CB Richard Ellis Co.'s Phoenix office, it had been Crown's intent, from the start, to sell the building after its acquisition in May 2005. "It has been offered as a single parcel, so the property had to be divided after Crown purchased it. As soon as Crown closed on the land, they turned around and offered the building for sale," says Brabant, who with CB Richard Ellis' Bob Young, Glenn Smigiel and Rich Abraham, represented the seller in the transaction.

The building, located at 23733 N. Scottsdale Rd., was developed by Giant Industries in 1989, and will be occupied by the company through 2014. Brabant tells GlobeSt.com that the building had been on the market for about 45 days at an ask of $13.08 million before United Insurance Co. of Chicago was identified as the buyer. United Insurance, represented by Mike Powers of Powers Trust Investments in Paradise Valley, came in with competitive pricing, beating out other offers. The buyer, as of now, has no plans to renovate the building.

At this time, Crown has not announced a ground-breaking date or construction costs for the office condominium project. "The plans are still in the preliminary phase right now, and they're into the city for approval," Brabant notes.

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Acquisition and Investment
Sep/29/2005

Crown West Acquires Eighth Phoenix Site

Spokane Valley company buys two-building, Class-A complex for $16.1 million

By Linn Parish
Spokane Journal of Business

Crown West Realty LLC, of Spokane Valley, has bought for $16.1 million a two-building office complex in Phoenix.

The complex, called Foothills Corporate Centre II, is the eighth property the Spokane company has acquired in the Phoenix area and gives it a total of 1.35 million square feet of commercial floor space in that market.

"The Phoenix market has been incredibly successful for our company," says Crown West President Richard Rollnick . "We look forward to expanding our portfolio over the coming months."

Foothills Corporate Centre II is located in the southeast valley area of Phoenix, along the Interstate 10 corridor, and includes two single-story office buildings with a total of about 145,000 square feet of Class-A floor space.

Crown West says the office complex was 83 percent occupied before the acquisition but it since has secured letters of intent from additional tenants to boost the complex's occupancy rate to 94 percent.

Current tenants include the corporate headquarters of audio-visual technologies provider ExhibitOne Corp. and the Phoenix operations of AT&T Corp. and telecommunications provider Global Crossing Ltd., Crown West says.

Crown West is headquartered at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, in Spokane Valley, which it owns and manages, and has offices in New York and Phoenix.

In addition to its holdings in the Spokane and Phoenix areas, the company has properties in Denver and Charlotte, N.C.

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Leasing and Development
Sep/01/2005

At SBIP . . . Fabricator to Construct New Facility

By Linn Parish
JOURNAL OF BUSINESS

Precision Cutting Technologies, a Spokane Valley fabricator that specializes in laser and water-jet cutting, has bought a 1.8-acre parcel of vacant land in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, in Spokane Valley, and plans to build a new facility for itself there.

Clint Grassel, who owns Precision Cutting with his wife, Brenda, says the planned 10,000-square-foot building will be built along LaCrosse Lane in the North Park portion of the large industrial park, east of the new FedEx Ground/FedEx Home Delivery distribution facility that's being built.

Grassel says Precision Cutting hopes to move into its new facility next spring from smaller, leased quarters at 9922 E. Montgomery, in Spokane Valley.

The total cost of the new building is expected to be about $600,00. Haskins Co., of Spokane, is the design-build contractor for the project.

In addition to the new structure, Precision Cutting has agreed to buy a $400,000 Cincinnati Inc.-brand laser cutter. Grassel says the cutter will allow the company to cut substantially larger pieces of material than it can with the two cutters it currently uses.

Precision Cutting uses laser and waterjet technology to make custom cuts in a variety of materials, such as granite, glass, and stainless steel. Its customers include sign makers, tile companies, artists, and a number of industrial users.

Earl Engle, of Tomlinson Black Commercial Inc., handled the land transaction.

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Acquisition and Investment
Sep/01/2005

Crown West Realty Acquires Foothills Corporate Centre II

PHOENIX – Crown West Realty, L.L.C. announced today the acquisition of Foothills Corporate Centre II in the Southeast Valley sub-market of Phoenix. The $16.1Million transaction, the eighth Phoenix area acquisition for Crown West Realty, brings their total market presence to 1.35 million square feet of office and commercial flex space.

Constructed in 2000, Foothills Corporate Centre II consists of two single-story Class “A” back office buildings totaling 144,910 square feet located at 14601 & 14605 South 5 0th Street in Phoenix . Foothills Corporate Centre is strategically located in the heart of the Interstate 10 (I-10) corridor, the most prestigious back-office core serving the Southeast Valley with excellent visibility and access. This strategic location offers its tenants immediate access to a vast array of amenities consisting of over two million square feet of retail space, restaurants and numerous hotel, medical, and health club facilities. Prior to the acquisition, Foothills Corporate Centre was 83% leased to tenants such as Global Crossing, AT&T, and ExhibitOne Corporation. At the time of closing Crown West had garnered letters of intent raising the occupancy to 94%.

Richard Rollnick , President of Crown West Realty, states “The Phoenix market has been incredibly successful for our company and we are thrilled to add this asset to our portfolio. We look forward to expanding our portfolio over the coming months.”

Crown West Realty, formed in 1996, is a privately-owned real estate investment, development and management firm with offices in Phoenix , New York City, and Spokane , Washington .

Parties interested in leasing information or acquisition criteria should contact Richard Rollnick at 602.288.3632.

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Acquisition and Investment
Sep/01/2005

Crown West goes into Denver Area

$12 Million transaction is Spokane company's first there; more buildings eyed

By Linn Parish
Spokane Journal of Business

Crown West Realty LLC, of Spokane Valley, has bought a $12 million office complex in the Denver area, its first acquisition in that market.

Richard Rollnick, president of Crown West, says the company currently is looking at additional properties in the Denver area and hopes to buy more real estate there.

"The diverse real estate opportunities and high-quality regional and national tenants in the Denver market are a nice fit for our investment goals, " Rollnick says.

The recently purchased property, called Corporate 25, consists of three inter-connected buildings with a total of 132,800 square feet of office space and is located in Centennial, Colorado, a suburb that's about 15 miles southeast of downtown Denver.

Built in 1981 and renovated in 2004, Corporate 25 is visible from Interstate 25 and is walking distance from a future light-rail station. Crown West says the complex currently has a 95% occupancy rate, and two construction companies are its main tenants.

The acquisition in the Denver market follows a number of purchases Crown West has made in the Phoenix area over the past three years. The company currently has more than 1.2 million square feet of office space in that growing Arizona market.

The company also owns about 5 million square feet of office and warehouse space in the Spokane area, most of which is in the Spokane Business &Industrial Park, in Spokane Valley.

Formed in 1996, Crown West is headquartered in Spokane Valley and has executive offices in Phoenix and New York.

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Acquisition and Investment
Aug/15/2005

Crown West Realty Acquires Corporate 25

By John Rebchook
Globe St.com

CENTENNIAL, CO – Crown West Realty, L.L.C., with executive offices in Phoenix and New York City, made its first commercial acquisition in the Denver area by paying $12 million for the Corporate 25 building. The property is in the Southgate Business Center at 7200 S. Alton Way, in this city along the southeast corridor.

The seller is DPC Development Co. Corporate 25, constructed in 1981 and completely renovated in 2004, consists of three inter-connected, multistory building with a total of 132,800 sf. It sits on a six-acre site with 410 feet of interstate frontage. It is minutes from the intersection of Interstate 25, C-470 and E-470 and is within walking distance of a future light-rail station to be built under the $4.7 billion FasTracks project. It also is close to the Park meadows mall. Currently, it is 99% occupied. Its two major anchor tenants are the South East Corridor Constructors and Kiewit Construction.

"The high-end amenities, quick access, and excellent visibility are in keeping with other quality offerings in our portfolio," says Richard Rollnick, president of Crown West, which has its administrative headquarters in Spokane, WA. "The diverse real estate opportunities and high-quality regional and national tenants in the Denver market are a nice fit for our investment goals."

Crown West plans to spend about $1.5 million in capital improvements throughout the next several years on Corporate 25. "Two of the three buildings in Corporate 256 complex have been elevated to class status with the renovations that took place in 2004," says vice president Rob Gragg. "One of our goals is to raise the third building to class status and continue with the successful leasing plan that is already in place."

Crown West, founded in 1996, is a privately owned real estate investment, development and management firm. In recent years, it bought more than 1.2 million sf of office space in the Phoenix area. It also owns about five million sf of office and industrial space in Spokane, WA.

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Acquisition and Investment
Aug/12/2005

Crown West Realty Completes Inaugural Purchase in Denver Market

DENVER – Crown West Realty, L.L.C. recently completed their first acquisition in the Denver metro area. Corporate 25 in Southeast Suburban Denver was purchased from DPC Development Company for $12 Million. Crown West has been on a buying spree in the Phoenix metro area over recent years, accumulating more than 1.2 million square feet of office space. In addition, Crown West Realty owns approximately 5 million square feet of office and industrial space in Spokane, Washington.

Constructed in 1981 and completely renovated in 2004, Corporate 25 consists of three interconnected multi-story buildings totaling 132,800 square feet. On over six acres of land and 410 feet of interstate frontage, this Class A office complex is located within the Southgate Business Center at 7200 South Alton Way , Centennial , Colorado . Minutes from the intersection of Highways I-25, C-470 and E-470, within walking distance of the future Southeast Corridor Light Rail Station, and in close proximity to the area’s most desirable residential neighborhoods and Park Meadows, makes Corporate 25 one of the most visible and accessible locations in the Southeast Suburban Office Submarket. Corporate 25 boasts a 95% occupancy rate with the two anchor tenants being South East Corridor Constructors and Kiewit Construction.

Richard Rollnick, President of Crown West Realty, states “We are thrilled to be adding Corporate 25 to our portfolio. The high-end amenities, quick access, and excellent visibility are in keeping with other quality offerings in our portfolio. The diverse real estate opportunities and high quality regional and national tenants in the Denver market are a nice fit for our investment goals, and Crown West looks forward to future acquisitions in the area.”

Crown West Realty plans to spend approximately $1.5 million in capital improvements over the next several years. “Two of the three buildings in the Corporate 25 complex have been elevated to Class A status with the renovations that took place in 2004. One of our goals is to raise the third building to Class A status and continue with the successful leasing plan that is already in place,” states Crown West Vice President, Rob Gragg.

Crown West Realty, formed in 1996, is a privately-owned real estate investment, development and management firm with executive offices in Phoenix and New York City and administrative headquarters in Spokane, Washington.

Parties interested in additional information about Crown West Realty or this property should contact Rob Gragg at (509) 924-1720.

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Leasing and Development
Jun/02/2005

Merlin Motors to move Valley assembly facility

Company plans to roll out three-wheel motorcycles for consumers this month



By Linn Parish
JOURNAL OF BUSINESS

Merlin Motors Inc., the young Renton, Wash.-based maker of Merlin Roadster three-wheel motorcycles, plans to move its Spokane Valley assembly facility into larger quarters as it ramps up production and prepares to release to consumers its high-end, high-performance trikes.

Ron Keto, the company’s vice president of manufacturing, says Merlin Motors has leased 5,800 square feet of manufacturing space in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan, and plans to move its assembly operation there next month from smaller quarters at 3519 N. Eden, where it has operated for about a year. The company currently has no other assembly facilities.

The Merlin Roadster is a reverse tricycle, with two wheels in front and one wheel in back, and has a one-seat, open-air cockpit with scissor doors that open upward, rather than outward. The vehicle has a motorcycle’s engine and an automobile’s transaxle, Keto says. Retail price is about $30,000.

The company plans to begin filling customer orders next month. Up till now, all of the vehicles that have been built have been used only for promotional purposes and as displays in dealership showrooms.

Keto says the company already has a backlog of 800 vehicle orders from customers throughout the U.S. It expects to make 270 Merlin Roadsters this year and another 1,500 in 2006.

The assembly facility currently employs eight people, and Keto says that likely will increase to as many as 15 workers by year-end.

As production of the Merlin Roadster increases, the company plans to contract out the assembly of its standard vehicles to a manufacturer in Detroit, Keto says. After that occurs, the Spokane facility will continue to make custom roadsters and prototypes of new models, he says.

The Merlin Roadsters are being sold through a variety of types of dealerships in different parts of the U.S., including some Harley Davidson Inc. dealerships, custom-motorcycle or “chopper” shops, and other motorsports outlets.

The vehicles appeal predominantly to aging Harley riders who are becoming less comfortable on a two-wheeler and want a vehicle that’s more stable, Keto says.

A younger group also has emerged, consisting largely of hip-hop artists and basketball players who are interested in the roadsters. For example, he says hip-hop artist Sean “P. Diddy” Combs has requested two Merlin Roadsters to use in an upcoming music video.

Merlin Motors refers to the vehicles as motorcycles, cars, and trikes in different instances, but their designation for licensing purposes will vary from state to state, Keto says. In Washington state, three-wheeled motorcycles are licensed as tricycles, separate from conventional motorcycles and cars. In most states, though, they will be licensed as motorcycles.

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