Leasing and Development

A growth in inventory

Journal of Business
By Treva Lind

Spokane Valley provider of storage, distribution reports uptick recently

SPOKANE, WA-Inland Empire Distribution Systems Inc., a Spokane Valley-based warehousing and distribution company, has seen a rise in the inventories it handled at the end of 2011 and early this year. It's the fastest growth pace since the recession hit about four years ago, says Jim Ewers, the company's president and CEO.

The privately-held enterprise also has plans to expand into other Pacific Northwest cities by next year, Ewers adds, although he declines for competitive reasons to say specifically what cities it's targeting.

IEDS is a large third-party logistics provider of warehousing, distribution, and transportation services with its headquarters in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan. The majority of its 60 employees are in Spokane, but it also has operations in Pacso and Lewiston.

In the first quarter of this year, Ewers says, the company saw a 14 percent year-over-year revenue growth. He says it also experienced significant growth in the fourth quarter of last year, but that the pace of distribution and inventory services has also slowed somewhat for this quarter.

"We surpassed our projected revenue," Ewers says, about the first-quarter 2012 results. "We've seen a surge in distribution in addition to growth in inventories. We've seen inventory coming back from the downturn of 2008 and 2009. During a recession, manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors will pull back inventory very quickly."

He says typically, companies want to see inventory turning fast or have solid projections that will do so before they're willing to stock up significantly.

"When there's an uptick in activity with inventory, it's a pretty good market-leading indicator," he says. "This past recession was so severe that a lot of inventory we saw was what you'd consider hand-to-mouth, which means manufacturers make just what they're confident will turn."

The company provides services for clients in four market sectors: industrial, forestry, chemical, and consumer grocery products.

For the industrial sector, its service related to the aerospace industry has become robust, Ewers says, but he adds that the aerospace segment never really slowed during the recession. "I'd say for a good three, four years, it's been good," he says.

Additionally, a Canadian company recently became the first customer to use a foreign trade zone established in late 2002 at the IEDS Spokane Valley site, which has 324,000 square feet of warehousing space.

The Spokane International Airport's board of directors first established a foreign trade zone here in 1997 in hopes that it would be an economic development tool, and later extended the zone to IEDS in Spokane Valley.

"We have a Canadian customer utilizing our foreign trade zone and that moved 2,000 tons of sugar into our operations in Spokane between December 2011 and February of this year," Ewers says, adding that equates to about 85 semi-truckloads.

Foreign trade zones are established throughout the U.S. to allow a company to defer duties, which are taxes on imports, until that company is ready to ship its products elsewhere. IEDS works closely with U.S. Customs and Homeland Security in the handling of inventory, Ewers adds.

As the company progresses through the second quarter, Ewers says the company and other U.S. third-party logistic companies are seeing inventory leveling off.

U.S. wholesalers restock inventories in March, but at a slower pace than in earlier months, a recent graph in the Wall Street Journal showed.

An accompanying explanation cited U.S. Commerce Department data that the value of inventories climbed 0.3 percent from February and 8.4 percent from a year ago to $480.4 billion. "Companies have been restocking goods such as vehicles and lumber since last summer, thanks to higher sales and increased confidence. But that restocking appears to be easing," the graph explanation said.

Ewers adds that the one reason given by industry experts for the slight slowing of goods is a warmer East Coast winter, so a number of goods that typically move in the spring already have been distributed.

He says that other experts forsee a cautious pace of economic recovery because of the federal debt and its potential impact on taxes, interest rates, and inflation.

What's going on in the marketplace has impacts as well, Ewers says.

"It's usually someone at the end of the market who is buying less," he says. "The market slows down, so it makes it more difficult to forecast inventory levels."

IEDS handles goods for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. Items it handles include forest products and building materials, as well as finished goods that go directly into the retail market and raw materials that go to manufacturers.

For the industrial sector, IEDS typically handles raw material for infrastructure projects or manufacturing, such as steel that goes into building bridges, and steel coil for furniture.

Kimball Office, which has a furniture manufacturing site in Post Falls, is one customer of IEDS, as is Kaiser Aluminum Corp.'s Spokane Valley Trentwood Works plant.

Beyond traditional warehouse services and storage, IEDS offers inventory programs, packaging, and cross-dock loading, which is a practice in logistics of unloading materials from incoming semi-trailer trucks or railroads and loading those materials directly into outbound trucks, trailers, or railcars, with little or no storage in between.

Secondary railroad lines from both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Union Pacific Corp. lead into the company's Spokane Valley facilities for individual railcar loading and unloading.

"We have one of the few locations in the entire Pacific Northwest that's serviced daily by both railroads," Ewers says.

He says more than 100 railcars a month are loaded or unloaded at its Spokane Valley facilities. Goods may be put in storage or loaded immediately onto semi-trucks.

The company provides less-than-truckload delivery within a 150-mile radius of Spokane, as well as freight management, which is a brokerage transportation service to arrange transport of goods to any point in North America.

The company employs18 truck drivers among its 60 employees, in addition to a handful of contract truck drivers.

Ewers says that regionally the company has more than 500,000 square feet of combined space, with a mixture of leased and owned facilities.

In addition to five warehouse facilities that it operates here and two rail yards, the company owns 30 acres of rail serviced property at the southwest corner of Flora Road and Trent Avenue, at the northeast corner of the industrial park, for future expansion of its rail service facilities, he adds. The Pasco operation includes five warehouses, while the Lewiston office services a transportation contract IEDS secured in 2008 with the consumer products division of Potlatch Corp., which now operates under a spin-off company, Clearwater Paper Corp.

IEDS was founded by Ewers' dad, Bert Ewers, in 1983.

Today, it's led by Jim Ewers and two brothers, Dan Ewers, general manager in Spokane, and Matt Ewers, vice president of business development, also based in Spokane.

Ewers claims IEDS is the largest third-party logistics storage and distribution provider in Eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana. "There may be some companies who do part of what we do, but don't provide all the services or serve all the market sectors we serve," he asserts.

Looking ahead, Ewers says the company had aspirations prior to the recession to expand its operations, but now sees that happening because of its clients requests.

"We have customers who would like us to do that," he adds.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Telect opens development center here

Journal of Business
By Mike McLean

Liberty Lake electronics maker will test, release products from new facility

SPOKANE, WA-Telect, Inc., the Liberty Lake-based developer and manufacturer of communications networking equipment, says it has opened a new operational development center in Spokane Valley.

Telect has an initial staff of 10 employees at the center, which occupies 15,000 square feet of leased space in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan, says Stan Hilbert, Telect's executive vice president and chief financial officer.

The company says it will use the operational development center to test new products and release them into rapidly changing communications markets from a site within seven miles of its headquarters, rather than distributing them from the company's manufacturing plants in Texas and Mexico. Through the center, Telect also will look for ways to adapt its current product lines for broader markets.

The company says its newest product line is selling well. The line includes its proprietary nrgSMART technology, which has a common architecture that allows networkwide monitoring of individual components for power, temperature, and distribution status. The technology is especially suited for use in alternative energy, advanced battery, and wireless broadband applications, it says.

Telect says it's also planning strategic product releases this year to serve the telecom, data-center, and home-market segments.

Hilbert declines to disclose Telect's annual revenues, but says they've been in a growth mode in recent years, and the company expects continued growth this year.

Telect employs about 80 people at its Liberty Lake headquarters at 23321 E. Knox, just south of Interstate 90, where it occupies 27,000 square feet of floor space, Hilbert says. It moved there last year from a building a half-mile to the southwest in which it occupied 16,000 square feet of space.

Telect started production in Spokane Valley in 1982 and until about a decade ago, operated a substantial portion of its manufacturing facilities in the Inland Northwest.

"The Spokane region has long been our home, and with strong supply-chain roots, Telect is pleased to bring operation and development strength back to the region," says Wayne Williams, Telect's president and CEO, in a press release.

He says, though, that Telect doesn't plan to return its main manufacturing operations here.

Today, the company manufacturers its rack and enclosure products in Plano, Texas, and its power and connectivity products in Guadalajara, Mexico. In total, the company employs more than 500 people, Hilbert says.

The company employed about 2,300 people worldwide at its peak in 2000, just before the dot-com crash.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Southern Wine & Spirits Leases 26,000 SF in Spokane

Washington Distributor Signs Industrial Lease

By Hubert Smith III (
March 7, 2012
CoStar Group

Southern Wine & Spirits of Washington, an alcoholic beverage sales and distribution company, signed a new lease to occupy about 26,000 square feet in the industrial building located at 16005 E. Euclid Ave. in Spokane Valley, Washington.

The 24-foot high building totals about 32,000 square feet in the Valley submarket. The property was constructed in 2005.

Dean Stuart of Crown West Realty LLC represented the landlord. Frank Gallagher of Capital Structures Realty Advisors represented the new tenant.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Crown West Realty completes 26,000 SF lease in Phoenix

PHOENIX, AZ. – Crown West Realty inked a fifteen-year, absolute net lease with K-12 public charter school management companies Choice Education and Development and EdKey, Inc., to occupy a single-tenant 26,000 square foot building in Arizona Business Park, located at 16454 North 28th Avenue in Phoenix. Choice and Edkey operate together as Sequoia Schools, and have 13 locations throughout the Valley. Sequoia’s Redwood school, currently located in Peoria, will be relocated to the building to become part of a campus with Arizona Academy for Arts and Academics, directly across the street.

“Crown West Realty acquired the property in a joint venture with Travelers as part of a ten building portfolio in 2004,” said Bob Olshan, Vice President for Crown West Realty. “The location and configuration worked perfectly for Sequoia’s desires to create a campus setting and serve a broader range of grade levels.”

Todd Noel of Colliers International represented Sequoia Schools. Charles Miscio and Greg McMillan of Colliers International represented Crown West Realty.

Crown West Realty is a full-service real estate investment, development, and management firm with offices in New York City, Phoenix, Denver, and Spokane. Crown West Realty was formed in 1996 by its parent company, New York investment firm, Petrus Partners, Ltd. The Petrus Partners-Crown West group manages a series of discretionary investment funds totaling over $200 million of equity and owns and manages eight million square feet of office, industrial, and mixed-use properties together with land development investments nationwide.

For further information, contact Bob Olshan, Vice President.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Promotional products company leases 40,000 SF

Journal of Business
Real Estate Roundup
Compiled by Mike McLean /

Brett Bros. Sports International Inc.'s subsidiary BrettHand Inc., a Spokane Valley vendor and distributor of licensed, oversized, finger-pointing foam hands with promotional sleeves, has leased 40,000 square feet of warehouse and office space in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan, and has moved there from smaller quarters at 9514 E. Montgomery. Chase Brackner, of Crown West Realty LLC, handled the transaction.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Golf retailer and distributor moves to The Park

Journal of Business

Real Estate Roundup
Compiled by Mike McLean /

JRS Investments LLC, a new golf products retailer and distributor doing business as The Golfmen, has leased 4,000 square feet of space at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park, at 3808 N. Sullivan. Chase Brackner, of Crown West Realty LLC, handled the transaction.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Advanced Concepts in Manufacturing opens

Ed Clark's Spokane How's Business Report

Advanced Concepts in Manufacturing, LLC has leased approximately 5,600 square feet of space in Building #2 of the Spokane Business & Industrial Park at 3808 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. Their primary business is the repair of manufacturing equipment. Michael Syrcle is the Managing Partner.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Crown West Realty announces distribution center

Crown West Realty, LLC is pleased to announce the completion of a 12-year lease with American Tire Distributors, Inc. for a 110,000 square foot distribution center. The high bay, concrete-tilt, build-to-suit facility will be located at the corner of Sullivan Road and Euclid Avenue within the Spokane Business & Industrial Park (The Park), in Spokane Valley, Wash. Dean Stuart, Crown West Realty’s Director of Marketing and Sales, along with Adam Faulk and Rebecca Barker of Jackson & Cooksey, Inc., a Dallas, Texas based brokerage firm, completed the deal.

The 110,000 square foot, 30 foot tall facility represents a major expansion in this area for American Tire Distributors, a national tire and wheel distributor with over 80 distribution centers across the country.

Vandervert Construction has been selected as the contractor and is expected to complete the multi-million dollar project in the first quarter of 2012.

Owned and managed by Crown West Realty, The Park is one of the region’s largest employment centers with over 120 resident companies employing in excess of 4,500 people. Over 4.5 million square feet of both dock-high and grade-level buildings rank The Park as one of the largest business and industrial complexes in the country. The expansive inventory, variety of product, ample resources, location and solution-oriented management team make The Park this area’s most flexible and valuable leasing option available.

Crown West Realty is a full-service real estate investment, development, and management firm with offices in New York City, Phoenix, Denver, and Spokane. Crown West Realty manages a series of discretionary investment funds totaling over $200 million of equity and owns and manages land development investments together with eight million square feet of office, industrial, and mixed-use properties nationwide.

For more information about this project or any of Crown West Realty’s properties, please contact Dean Stuart at 509-924-1720 or

Read More »
Leasing and Development

American Tire leasing in Valley

Industrial park will build new distribution center

July 29, 2011
The Spokesman Review
By Tom Sowa /, (509)459-5492

One of the nation's largest tire distributors will lease a 110,000-square-foot warehouse that will be constructed inside the Spokane Business & Industrial Park.

American Tire Distributors, based in Huntersville, N.C., will move into the building at 15530 E. Euclid Ave. sometime next year.

The land, at Sullivan and Euclid, is owned by Crown West Realty, which also manages the business park in Spokane Valley.

American Tire has signed a 12-year lease on the property. Developing and building the 30-foot-tall warehouse will run more than $7 million, said Dean Stuart, marketing and sales director for Crown West.

One building at the site is being demolished to prepare for construction, Stuart said.

American Tire sells tires wholesale through 80 distribution centers. It also operates a retail-tire franchise network called Tire Pros. It distributes some of the country's most popular brands, including Goodyear, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Continental and Michelin, as well as budget brands and private-label tires.

Last year the company acquired C&L Tires, which operated a warehouse in Spokane Valley at 126 S. David St.

Whether that Valley operation will close after American Tire opens its new warehouse could not be determined on Thursday.

Stan Key, manufacturing industry director for Greater Spokane Incorporated, played a major role in helping American Tire find the warehouse site, Stuart said. Vandervert Construction is the general contractor for the project.

Read More »
Leasing and Development

Business park garners new tenants

Journal of Business

Mike McLean /

The Spokane Business & Industrial Park says it recently has leased a total of more than 200,000 square feet of floor space to seven new tenants, including manufacturers and companies that service them, and companies that need new distribution centers.

The new leases will bring the occupancy rate at the roughly 5 million-square-foot complex to 91 percent, says Dean Stuart, the SBIP's marketing director.

"The amount of square footage of new deals so far this year will exceeds all of last year," Stuart says.

Of the new tenants, manufacturers are taking the largest spaces, he says.

"Manufacturers seem to be turning the corner and gearing up for better times ahead," Stuart says.

One new tenant, Haakon Industries Inc., a Richmond, British Columbia-based heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system manufacturer, says it has leased 40,000 square feet of space, and will open its second Spokane-area manufacturing plant there.

Haakon makes custom air-handling equipment for industrial applications, such as in hospitals, universities, laboratories, microchip manufacturing plants, and data centers, says Desiree McGee, Haakon's operations manager.

The company also operates a 110,000-square-foot plant at 1633 W. First, in Cheney, where it employs 180 people.

McGee Says Haakon plans to hire additional employees, although she declines to estimate how many. "That's still in the planning stages," she says.

Haakon currently is installing equipment and retrofitting some office and utility space at the Spokane Valley site, where it plans to begin operations next month, she says.

McGee declines to disclose the company's revenue, but says, "It definitely is growing."

Pyrotek Inc., a Spokane Valley-based manufacturer of products that help other manufacturers handle high-temperature materials, has leased 40,000 square feet of space in the SBIP and will move a manufacturing line there from Mexico, says Dean Stuart, director of marketing at The Park.

Pyrotek had announced the manufacturing move to Spokane Valley last month, but hadn't previously disclosed the address of the new location.

The company said in a press release it will hire 20 employees in Spokane Valley, invest $1 million in equipment and renovations there, and contribute $450,000 in new annual tax revenue to the state.

Pyrotek operates another manufacturing facility in Spokane Valley, at 9601 E. Montgomery, about five miles west of the SBIP.

Another manufacturer, American Alloy LLC, of Spokane Valley, has leased 60,000 square feet of space for metal fabrication and machining, Stuart says.

He says the company plans to move there from leased space at 18001 E. Euclid.

Some new tenants have leased space mainly for storage and distribution.

Oregon Metal Slitters Inc., a manufacturing-industry supplier, says it has leased 40,000 square feet of space and plans to open a distribution center to serve the Spokane-area market.

The Portland-based concern processes and distributes steel in rolled and sheet form, says Hans Polte, Oregon Metal Slitters' operations manager.

"We have customers in Spokane, and we're trying to service them better," Polte says.

The Valley distribution center will begin operations this month with three employees, he says.

"The hope is that sales will increase," Polte says. "The interest is there if we can get product to people in small quantities by the next day. We need to be there to make it easier on our salespeople."

Townshend Cellar Inc. also has turned to the SBIP for a storage and distribution site. The Colbert-based winemaker says it has leased 12,000 square feet of space for warehousing.

The Valley location will be handier for distribution, says Don Townshend, the company's owner.

Townshend Cellar currently stores its wines in an 8,000-square-foot warehouse in the Greenbluff area north of Spokane.

Waterglider LLC, a retailer of sports equipment and other products, has leased 4,000 square feet of space and has moved there from smaller quarters at the Spokane International Airport Business Park.

Sean McLaughlin and his wife, Jayne, own the business, which has no other employees. McLaughlin says Waterglider sells and distributes products primarily through

Portland-based Marquez Inc., a tile, stone-product, and countertop supplier, which does business as Oregon Tile & Marble, has leased nearly 16,000 square feet of space and has opened a new outlet there, Stuart says.

Oregon Tile & Marble also operates outlets in Portland and Medford, Oregon, Seattle and Boise. Company executives couldn't be reached for comment.

Read More »