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SPOKANE, WA-Government and business officials gathered to witness the ceremonial start to an eventual 224-acre Pacific Northwest Technology Park, a development city leaders say could be the next corporate magnet for the Inland Empire.

Vandervert Construction owns the land, east of The Boeing Co.’s manufacturing plant on Highway 2 and Flint Road. Vandervert’s investment company, Granite Investments LLC, reportedly expects to spend at least $300 million over the next five years on the project.

Biomedex Inc, a Spokane-based biotech company, will be the anchor tenant. Its 80,000-sf building will cost about $15 million to build. George Coleman, Biomedix president, along with his colleagues, helped spark the idea of a park. Dick Vandervert, owner of Vandervert Construction, provided backing.

To build tenant appeal, the park will have ponds, walkways and a jogging trail. Also of interest to tenants should be its easy access to Interstate 90 and Spokane International Airport.

In addition to the tech park’s handy address, the project is expected to get a big boost from tax-increment financing. A new rule, approved by state lawmakers this year, allows Spokane County to use taxes generated by the project as it expands to pay off improvement bonds issued to expand the project.

The financing tool could help generate between $10 million and $15 million in investments for infrastructure at the 224-acre site like water, sewer, lighting and road improvements.

Vandervert is also building a 105,000-square-foot office building, a 120-unit hotel, a franchise restaurant, a day-care center and fitness center.

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