The Spokesman-Review is expanding its downtown production facility on Sprague Avenue and building a new parking garage on the corner of Madison and Sprague.

The $ 12.7 million private project will add 34,000 sf of space to the existing structure, giving paper more room to assemble the newspaper and to store newsprint. The expansion also will give the newspaper the ability to tailor newspapers in the future to meet the desires of different subscribers.

The four-floor garage, to be built in the vacant Hill Printing building, will extend onto the parking lot the Spokane Club now leases from Cowles Publishing. The club, which has been looking for a parking solution, will lease the ground floor of the garage.

Club plans to build a garage alongside the Spokane River fell through this year when the project was ruled a violation of the city’s shoreline ordinance.

Spokesman-Review Publisher Stacey Cowles says the company is eager to involve the neighborhood in the design of the production facility expansion, which could include public art. A group of stakeholders – mainly owners of adjacent properties, some nearby homeowners and people involved in the downtown plan – will work to make sure the new structures fit in with nearby historic buildings, Cowles said.

The paper’s existing production facility was built in 1981. It holds the newspaper’s presses, machine shop, packaging center and an employee-tenant parking garage for which there is more demand than supply.

Employee demand alone for the current garage has exceeded the supply, and the addition of the headquarters of television station KHQ to the neighborhood is only exacerbating the issue, Cowles said. The new garage is expected to serve all existing tenants as well as the needs of the Spokane Club and the symphony.

Demolition of the Hill Printing building is scheduled for early September. Construction of the parking garage on that site will begin within two months and be completed by February. In March, work will begin on the printing production building expansion.

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