Leasing and Development
Leasing and Development

Change of Habitat

by Craig Howard, News Editor

Spokane Valley Herald / Spokane Valley Online

In the true spirit of industriousness, the Habitat for Humanity retail store is moving to a new site in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park.

The 32,000-square-foot venue at 3808 N. Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley will represent the merging of Habitat's store at Trent Avenue near the Gonzaga University campus and a Spokane Valley location at Sprague and Bowdish that opened in December 2008. The upgraded facility - which will still feature the same variety of building surplus materials, household items, antiques and knickknacks - is scheduled to open April 1.

"This is a clean, bright building and it's new," said Gary Ragsdale, Habitat store manager. "we're getting feedback from people who say they wouldn't go downtown (to the Trent site) and they're ecstatic that we're going to be in the Valley."

Ragsdale and his crew began renovating the building in early February. He said the site has more of a spacious design than the Trent store, main home of Habitat retail operations for the past 10 years. "It doesn't have those nooks and crannies that aren't great for retail." Ragsdale said.

As for concerns over visibility in a business park, Habitat has invested in an area-wide marketing campaign that includes print, radio and television ads. The store itself is only a quick turn off Sullivan, about five to 10 minutes to the north of Interstate 90 and the Spokane Valley Mall.

"Location is always a concern for any kind of retail," Ragsdale said. "But I think we have the best location in the Industrial Park."

Proceeds from the store go to Habitat for Humanity programs that provide affordable housing for low-income residents. Last year, the Trent and Spokane Valley sites generated some $300,000 for the cause. According to Michone Preston, executive director of Habitat-Spokane, the retail venture accounts for around 10 percent of the agency's yearly revenue. Grants and donations from local businesses, individuals and the faith community comprise the bulk of the organization's budget. Last year, Habitat-Spokane ranked 11th among Habitat affiliates throughout the world in overall money raised. In addition to its local efforts, the agency donated $100,000 to support relief efforts in Haiti after the disaster there.

Preston said the new site will rely on word-of-mouth as well as local advertising to maintain and increase its customer base. She added that the store will also benefit from being "more of a destination for people."

"I think we've raised a lot of awareness," Preston said. "I'm hoping people will continue to find it."

The local branch of Habitat has helped to build over 200 homes for low-income families and individuals in the Greater Spokane area since 1987. The nonprofit, Christian-based organization was established in 1976 with a mission of eliminating poverty housing and homelessness and, since then, has provided over 1.5 million people throughout the world with quality, affordable homes.

Preston said Habitat is still considering another site in the north Spokane area at some point down the road. A ribbon cutting event for the Industrial Park location will be coordinated by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce sometime in May.

The upgraded Valley store will include a waiting area with free coffee and snacks for shoppers who need a break. A small library featuring new and used books will also be part of the terrain.

With an inventory that includes everything from tile to window frames and everything in between, Ragsdale said shoppers would be advised to stop by the surplus store "before heading to a big box store."

"If you have a project, make a list and visit us first," he said.

The old Valley site and the Trent store closed on March 1. Preston said fliers announcing the move were handed out to customers beforehand. The Trent location will be reopened March 21-26 for a liquidation sale with a variety of items at 75 percent off the original prices. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. For more information call Habitat-Spokane at 534-2552.

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Leasing and Development

Coco-Cola to Open New Sales and Distribution Center


RALEIGH, NC - Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated today announced it will open a new sales and distribution center in the Carolinas Distribution Center in Clayton. The 233,000 square foot replaces the company's existing 90,000 square foot building on South Wilmington Street.

"We are very pleased to be expanding our operations in the Raleigh market, more than doubling the size of our distribution center to better serve our customers in the Triangle," said Lauren Steele, Coca-Cola Consolidated spokesman.

The new sales and distribution center will serve the company's customers in Wake, Johnston, Franklin, Harnett, Orange and Chatham counties. All of the company's 184 local employees will move to the new facility.

The existing Raleigh Coca-Cola facility in South Raleigh was built in 1957 as a production and distribution center. Coca-Cola Consolidated acquired the building and the Coca-Cola sales franchise territory in 1968.

"We are looking forward to a modern and efficient distribution facility," Steele said. "Because the existing facility was built as a bottling plant, it never lent itself to efficient warehousing and loading dock capabilities."

North Carolina-based Coca-Cola Consolidated is the nation's largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. More than 2,800 of its approximately 5,800 employees work in North Carolina. Jones Lang LaSalle represented Coca-Cola Consolidated in the lease agreement, and Cassidy Turley represented the landlord, Crown West Realty.

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Leasing and Development

Zome Design moves operations to The Park

Journal of Business
Real Estate Roundup
Compiled by Mike McLean / mikem@spokanejournal.com

Zome Design LLC, an apparel screen-printing and embroidery company, has leased 8,000 square feet of floor space in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan, and has moved its production operations there from smaller quarters at 1821 W. Fifth. Chase Breckner of Crown West Realty, and Erik Nelson, of Kiemle & Hagood Co., handled the lease.

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Leasing and Development

Zome Design to open silk screen shop

Ed Clark's How's Business

Spokane Edition
Ed Clark / info@spokanehowsbusiness.com

Zome Design, LLC, a silk screen company, has leased approximately 8,000 square feet of space in Building #3 of the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan Road in the Spokane Valley. The business, owned by Brayden Jessen, offers screen-printing, embroidery, tackle-twill and more.They can print from one garment to one hundred thousand. Zome Design also specializes in web solutions offering design and development, hosting, e-commerce and search engine optimization. Zome Design's phone number is 509-279-2034. The Website is zomedesign.com. The lease activity was completed by Chase Breckner, marketing specialist at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park and Erik Nelson of Kiemle & Hagood Company.

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Leasing and Development

DirecTV leases storage building

by Bert Caldwell
Here's the Dirt Weekly Report
The Spokesman Review

Satellite entertainment company DirecTV, Inc. has leased 10,600 square feet in Building 33 of the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan Road.

The company is using the building to store equipment and supplies.

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Leasing and Development

Green Home moves to The Park

Journal of Business

Real Estate Roundup
Compiled by Mike McLean / mikem@spokanejournal.com

Boise-based Green Home LLC, a home energy-efficiency improvement contractor, has leased 4,200 square feet of space in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan, and has opened a branch office there. Chase Breckner of Crown West Realty LLC, handled the transaction.

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Leasing and Development

Spokane Valley business park lands 5 new tenants

Journal of Business

By Mike McLean

Freight carrier, cold-food distributor join lessees at big commercial center

SPOKANE, WA- The Spokane Business & Industrial Park has leased space to five new tenants, including a long time Spokane trucking company, a food-products distributor, a manufacturer of specialty moldings, a sheet-metal fabricator, and a concrete polisher, SBIP says.

The long-haul trucking company, Victor Chimienti Inc., has leased 4,800 square feet of space in the park, which is located at 3808 N. Sullivan Road, in Spokane Valley, and has moved there from larger quarters in the Great Northern building near Spokane Falls Boulevard and Hamilton Street. Seattle-based McKinstry Co. recently bought the 52,000-square-foot Great Northern building and plans to consolidate its Spokane operations there.

Victor Chimienti, which is headed by Von Chimienti, the son of the company's founder, owns three trucks and has five employees, including four truck drivers.

Another new tenant, Beaverton, Ore.-based Reser's Fine Foods, has leased 6,000 square feet of space in SBIP, the park says. Reser's manufactures and distributes refrigerated food products and plans to use the leased space as a distribution point serving Spokane-area retail stores, says Paul Leavy, Reser's Beaverton-based chief financial officer. Three salespeople are based at the site.

The space there will replace similar space Reser's is leasing in North Spokane, Leavy says. He says the company's total annual sales are holding steady at about $650 million, and its Spokane area sales also are stable with some segments, including Mexican foods, continuing to grow.

The three other new tenants couldn't be reached for comment. They include:

Hardwood & Molding Specialties Inc., a custom molding manufacturer, which SBIP says has leased 7,200 square feet of space in the park and has moved there from 18001 E. Euclid Ave.

Skyline Maintenance Inc., doing business as Coil-Tech, a custom sheet metal fabricator, which SBIP says, has leased 12,000 square feet of space there.

Creative Surface Inspirations LLC, a Coeur d'Alene-based concrete-polishing concern, which SBIP says has leased 1,250 square feet of space and plans to move its Spokane operation there.

Dean Stuart and Chase Breckner, both of Spokane-Valley based Crown West Realty LLC, handled the leases. Crown West owns and operates SBIP.

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Leasing and Development

Spokane Valley nutritional bar maker buzzes along

Down to Earth News

By Sandra Hosking
Down to Earth NW Correspondent

BumbleBar improving operations, options this year

SPOKANE VALLEY, WA-After a down year last year, BumbleBar, a nutritional snack-bar maker, is making a bee line toward record revenues this year. In addition, the Spokane Valley company is preparing to launch new products soon.

BumbleBar recently bought new equipment that will help streamline its production process and plans to buy a cartoner, which will package its new line of products - junior-size bars, says Liz Ward, who owns the company with her husband, Glenn. The packs, which are expected to hit the market within the next few months, will be sold in sets of 12, either including one flavor or a variety of flavors.

While original BumbleBars are 1.6 ounces, about the size of a full-size Hershey's chocolate bar, the junior BumbleBars will be about a third of that. "We've had a lot of requests for that over the years," Ward says. "A lot of kids eat our BumbleBars, and a lot of times the bars are too big for a kid."

All of the company's bars are seed-based, vegan, and gluten-free, and are geared toward people who have food intolerances or who just want a healthier snack. Their ingredients are "ethically sourced," meaning they come from farms and co-ops worldwide that use organic farming methods. The bars cost between $1.79 and $1.99 each. Flavors include peanut, cashew, chocolate, cherry, lemon, and more.

Next year, the company plans to launch a new line of bars, called BumbleBar Active, that won't be seed-based but will be dairy- and gluten-free and will have more protein.

Finding ingredients that are produced by socially responsible growers can be a challenge but also is important to the company's mission. "We know who the grower is. The source is someone who puts money into education for the workers and makes it a good situation for them," Ward says.

As a result, ingredients hail from all over the world. The flax seeds it uses come from a Canadian co-op, while other ingredients originate in Central America. The almonds in its most popular bar come from Baugher Ranch Organics, a Northern California ranch that farms with horses.

As part of its company policy, BumbleBar has committed to using ingredients produced by organic farmers to avoid pesticides and the pollution caused by conventional farming methods, Ward says.

The Wards launched BumbleBar in Seattle in 1995. After searching for an organic snack bar for herself, Ward, who enjoys the outdoors, decided to make one.

"I was just kind of fiddling around," she says. "I love to cook." Her first flavors were peanut and chocolate crisp. Receiving positive feedback from friends who tried the bars, inspired her to sell them. Ward picked the name BumbleBar because it "sounded sweet and natural and bees are one of the first animals affected by pesticides, so it made sense to me."

When she first began making the bars, she rented a commercial kitchen by the hour and did everything by hand. Even though the company now has equipment and a production staff, "we still have a very handcrafted process," she says.

Ward wanted BumbleBar's products to be organic and vegan. "We're also committed to gluten-free because it's a really underserved population, and it makes me happy to give them something that tastes good," she says.

The couple moved the company to Spokane six years ago, in part for a better lifestyle. "Our move to Spokane has been really good for us," Ward says. "Our business kept growing, and we were looking at a four-hour commute, and that doesn't fit in with any sort of family life," she says. So, the couple researched different places around the Northwest, including Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. "Spokane was awesome," she says, "kind of a hidden gem."

BumbleBar currently employs six people aside from the owners, including a Seattle-based sales director. It leases about 12,000 square feet in two buildings at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, which house its offices, production facility, and warehouse. The company produces from 7,000 to 15,000 bars a day, depending on demand, Ward says. Those bars are then sold at about 3,000 outlets across the U.S. and Canada.

The company also develops and makes bars for other companies, some of whom are large but whom Ward declines to name.

She develops all the new products and flavors. "I love to be creative," she says.

Ward starts the development process by brainstorming ideas based on her own thoughts or suggestions by her clients. "I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what we're going to use and where we're going to get it," she says. She enjoys researching sources for new ingredients. "It's really fun learning about new things all the time."

While Ward likes all of the BumbleBar flavors - since they are made to her taste - apricot is her current favorite. "We really enjoy what we do, and I feel really lucky that I get to do something I'm so passionate about," she says.

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Leasing and Development

Concrete Works Statuary has a concrete business plan

Journal of Business
By Kim Crompton

Curtiss and Laura Grenz, who own the 15-year-old business, attract a lot of repeat customers.

SPOKANE, WA-After living and working for a time in northern California, Spokane Valley natives Curtiss and Laura Grenz were eager to return here, and they found a concrete way to do that, literally. They founded a business through which they used an initial handful of molds to begin producing concrete fountains and other items used for yard decorations.

That endeavor has evolved into a 15-year-old company, Concrete Works Statuary Inc., that now employs a total of 12 people - about half of them year-round and the rest seasonally - at a retail location at 205 S. Pines and at a 14,000-square-foot production facility in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park.

The business now has roughly 1,000 molds it uses to make concrete products ranging from classic fountains and water features to statues, tables, benches, planters, stepping stones, and animal figurines. Though its sales have dipped over the last couple of years due to the recession, Curtiss Grenz says he's pleased with the overall growth of the enterprise.

"I think it's been satisfactory, most definitely," Grenz says. "People have enjoyed our products, and we have hundreds of repeat customers. Spokane has been a great place to start our family business."

Concrete Works' retail facility on Pines, which occupies a little over an acre of land, is open April 1 through mid-October. The company, though, also operates temporary stores in the Spokane Valley Mall and NorthTown Mall during the holiday season, and sells its products through exhibits at home-and-garden shows from the end of January through early March. Its production plant runs year-round.

It plans to open an unstaffed booth shortly at the Columbia Center mall, in the Tri-Cities, where it will display some of its products and have literature and ordering information available, Grenz says. "If that goes well, we'll try the Missoula market and probably the Boise market with the same idea" soon thereafter, he says.

Also, he says, "Our goal now is to really put some time and effort into the Internet," and build up sales through the company's Web site.

Grenz declines to disclose Concrete Works' annual revenues, but says they've fallen about 20 percent since peaking in 2007, and before that had been trending upward at a rate of 5 percent to 10 percent a year. The recent decline has been softened by the upswing in stay-at-home vacations, which has contributed to sales of decorative yard items, he says.

The downturn still has taken a toll on the company's revenues, though, and Grenz says customer hesitancy has convinced him that he shouldn't expect a quick recovery.

"They're very cautious, looking for a great deal. We're having to run sales when we normally wouldn't have to," Grenz says. Of the near-term market outlook as it relates to the business, he says, "I think we have another year to be cautious," because it likely will take that long for consumer spending to regain any momentum.

The Grenzes, both University High School graduates, moved to northern California in 1986, and lived in Lodi, northeast of the San Francisco Bay area, for 10 years before returning to Spokane. Curtiss Grenz was employed there by Martin-Brower Co., a distribution business that serves McDonald's Corp.

He says, though, that, "This was always home. I always wanted to be back in Spokane if there was an avenue to get me there."

Grenz says the opportunity to move back here emerged when he crossed paths with someone who offered to teach him how to make concrete decorative products if Grenz would buy from him the molds needed to pour those pieces.

The Grenzes initially bought a truck-load of finished products to sell, then began buying molds. When they returned here in 1996, bringing the molds with them, they immediately began pouring concrete products in his parents' backyard, using a small, half-cubic-yard mixer and mostly destroying the yard, he says. Initially, they sold their products just at temporary street-corner locations and at craft fairs, they say.

In 1997, they moved the manufacturing operation to a leased 1,200-square-foot space near the intersection of Park Road and Broadway Avenue in the Valley, and then in 1999, they moved it to a 5,000-square-foot space at 9517 E. Fourth in the Dishman-Mica area, where they also had enough room for a retail shop.

In 2000, the couple moved the retail outlet to its current location on Pines and the manufacturing operation to the Airway Heights Corrections Center. There, the plant operated under a Washington State Department of Corrections' Correctional Industries program through which businesses could set up facilities inside a prison and employ inmates, though they were required to pay market wages.

"The labor force and everything was incredible," but keeping the manufacturing operation there ultimately proved inconvenient, due partly to its distance from the retail outlet, Grenz says. So in 2004, Concrete Works moved the operation to the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, and that location has worked out well.

The company has a 2-cubic-yard concrete mixer there that's capable of adding stored ingredients by volume, allowing for concrete to be poured continuously. It also has a 20-ton-capacity silo that holds the cement used in the concrete, he says.

"All of it is automated now, compared to when we were dealing with buckets and shovels," Grenz says.

The company uses in its concrete a special blend of sand and gravel that it buys from Spokane Rock Products Inc., and it uses the equivalent of seven 94-pound sacks of cement per cubic yard of concrete, compared with a typical five-sack mix used in driveways, he says.

The extra cement, combined with air, fiber, and a plasticizer that are added to the mix, boost the strength of the concrete and help it to withstand damage due to the dramatic outdoor temperature changes that occur in the Northwest, Grenz says.

Concrete Works' retail lot includes an 800-square-foot main building, where customers can place orders and buy accessories and retailed supplies such as water pumps, tubing, accent lights, and concrete sealant, and a couple of smaller support structures. Most of the lot, though, is devoted to working displays of some of the company's fountains and other water features, as well as a selection of its smaller products. Prices range from less than $10 for a small animal figurine to more than $1,300 for the Monster Triad, a triple water fountain that resembles three natural basalt rock columns, stands more than 5 feet tall, and weights close to a ton. Though the Spokane area has a lot of native basalt, all of the angular basalt-like water features sold by Concrete Works are made of concrete.

Grenz says he oversees retail sales there, and his wife handles the office management. Two of the couple's three children help out there as needed. The company's other employees work mostly at the plant. Despite the recession-caused dip in sales and his expectation of little recovery this year, he say he feels good about Concrete Works' future.

People increasingly seem to want to make the outdoor spaces at their homes more useable and aesthetically appealing, which translates into long-term demand for concrete decorative pieces, including possibly for items such as concrete fire rings and outdoor fireplace surrounds, he says, so, "There's definitely room for growth."

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Leasing and Development

Precision Machine to double space

Journal of Business

By Kim Crompton

Crown West to expand Lewiston-based company's building at big industrial park

SPOKANE, WA-Precision Machine & Supply Inc., a fabrication and precision machining company based in Lewiston, Idaho, plans roughly to double its space at a repair center it operates in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, in Spokane Valley.

Dan Wenstrom, Precision Machine's owner, was out of the country last week and unavailable for comment, and his son, Dana, who operates the Spokane shop, also couldn't be reached for comment. Recently, however, the city of Spokane VAlley issued a notice of determination of nonsignificance in connection with a proposed 15,600-square-foot expansion of the 18,500-square-foot building that Precision Machine leases at 15708 E. Marietta, on the south side of the big industrial park.

Dean Stuart, director of marketing at Crown West Realty LLC, which owns and operates the industrial park, says he expects a building permit for the project to be issued by the end of this month, and adds, "We're ready to go. As soon as the permit is received, we'll be moving dirt."

Stuart says the addition will include some office space, but that it will be used largely for production and will about double the Precision Machine's production space. He declined to say how much the addition is expected to cost, but he expects it to be completed in October. Russell Page Architects of Spokane, designed the project, and Vandervert Construction Inc., also of Spokane, will be the general contractor, he says.

Precision Machine's web site says the company does various types of fabrication and machining and that its Spokane Valley facility specializes in the repair and rebuilding of compressors, pumps, blowers, and heat exchangers. Along with the work it does in its shop, it goes into the field to do on-site machining when customers require it, the web site states.

"We specialize in improving the productivity of industrial equipment by installing better components or by redesign. We pride ourselves on taking on the unusual task, whether it be in welding of exotic metals, or special application of heat-treated or hand-surfaced replacement parts," the company says.

Precision Machine has had a satellite operation at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park for at least several decades. In 1990, it doubled its space there to about 20,000 square feet, and about six years ago, it relocated to its current, similar-sized space there.

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