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SPOKANE, WA-Locally based ConoverBond Development is offering 10 years of free rent to the candidate who submits the best restaurant concept for the basement of its seven-story historic office building in Downtown Spokane.

ConoverBond president Rob Brewster says a restaurant will be a nice amenity to the building, but says he’s offering the 2,900-sf space up for free in return for assistance given to him as he was getting started on a career. “I’ve been given a lot of opportunity from area leaders and I wanted to extend the same to someone else,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

Brewster says the company is seeking experienced restaurant operators to submit proposals for developing and operating a restaurant/bar/club in the historic “Speak Easy” space of the Hutton Building, a landmark building in Downtown Spokane. Vacant for over two decades, the basement space maintains many of its original features, with curved ceilings, arches, columns, exposed brick and stone and woodwork – all located below street level.

Selection of the winning bid will be based on several factors including restaurant experience, vision and overall concept. The successful respondent will be required to fund tenant improvements to the space and open the new restaurant no later than early April 2004. The winner also will be required to cover the cost of services, which is expected to be between $3- and $5 per sf per year.

Brewster hopes that the potential restaurant will strengthen the surrounding area and help raise awareness of the Hutton Building. New restaurants and nightlife have recently developed in the surrounding blocks, making the Hutton Building a desirable location for a new establishment, and a new addition to the city’s upcoming entertainment district.

Tours of the “Speak Easy” space will be held at noon on Aug. 11. Proposals will be accepted through Sept. 22, 2003. Interested restaurateurs may download information at www.conoverbond.com or call ConoverBond Development at (509) 755-5555.

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