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SPOKANE, WA-From historic building updates to development in the biotech industry, several development projects on tap here are expected to exceed $500 million. The Spokane Area Economic Development Council hopes this growth will help generate job opportunities, ranging from hourly wage positions to well-paying high-tech assignments.

“While we’ve not come through the recent downturn unscathed, this level of investment shows real optimism about the future,” says Mark Turner, president and CEO of the Spokane Area Economic Development Council. “Spokane is on the move.”

Among the region’s notable projects are:

– River Park Square, a $114 million specialty shopping, dining and entertainment center

– The $50 million restoration of the historic Davenport Hotel

— The transformation of the Holley Mason building into a mixed-used facility

– A planned $50 million, 19-story downtown high-rise

– Expansion work planned or underway at each of the county’s four hospitals, including additions at Sacred Heart Medical Center of $90 million, at Deaconess Medical Center of $18 million, at Valley Hospital and Medical Center of $20 million and at Holy Family Hospital of $20-$25 million

– A large corporate park that offers warehouse and office space has opened along Interstate 90

– In Liberty Lake, a suburb about 15 miles east of downtown, more than $45 million in commercial development is either planned or underway

– Near the airport, work has begun on a $200 million commercial park designed as a 224-acre “cluster” for high-tech and biotech companies

– A new Health Sciences Building on Washington State University’s downtown Riverpoint campus opens in January, with 145,000 sf of laboratories, clinical space and classrooms

– Interstate 90 was recently widened and ground has been broken on a North Spokane Corridor to cut commute times from the city’s north side

– Construction of a new concourse at the Spokane International Airport is complete and plans for further expansion have been announced

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