On Thursday, the development team behind the Wonder Building announced that the building would be marketed for lease by NAI Black and JLL to regional- and national-scale office tenants. Naturally, given that we once called this our favorite building in Spokane, we were quite interested in any new details which could be gleaned from this release.
The Wonder Building, located at 821 W. Mallon on the North Bank, will, at build-out, include 112,000 square feet of total space across three floors, including a basement and a 12,000 square foot public market on the ground floor. In addition, a rooftop patio and conference center will feature panoramic views of Riverfront Park, the Spokane River, and Downtown Spokane. The building is expected to be ready for move-in sometime this summer. We already knew about many of these details.
Here’s one I just couldn’t wait until Monday to share. Wonder Spokane, LLC has proposed a stellar, game-changing adaptive reuse of the former Wonder Bread Building on the North Bank of the Spokane River. The 111,000 square foot former bakery sits at 821 W Mallon Ave, directly across from the Spokane Arena. At its peak, the plant produced 500,000 pounds of bread products each week, until it closed in 2000. Now the investors of Wonder Spokane, LLC, apparently led by Denver lawyer and businessman Pete Mounsey, believe the building can be a promising site for redevelopment, as they’ve applied to attend a Pre-Development Conference* with the City.
Their version of the Wonder Bread Building would see it completely transformed and restored, adding a partly-glass third story and other unique amenities. The first floor of the historic building would occupied by a market hall concept much larger than Spokane’s only other existing market hall, Saranac Commons. The second and third floors, meanwhile, would be occupied by leasable office space, with an event space and rooftop patio on the third floor. In addition to the redevelopment of the historic building, the developer proposes an attractive-looking parking garage with two completely separate retail spaces on the west (Lincoln St) side. The sum total of these investments would be a complete revitalization of the North Bank of the river and significantly more life on this crucial corridor connecting the Spokane Arena with Kendall Yards. We look forward to hearing more details as the developer shares its plans.
The building, first constructed in 1909 and extensively remodeled in 1947, sold to an investment group named Wonder Spokane, LLC. Investors include Pete Mounsey, a Spokane native and resident of Denver, Colorado who most recently remodeled the Lincoln View Apartments on the lower South Hill with local architecture firm Nystrom + Olson. The group has no specific plans, but notes that mixed-use is a strong possibility. Zoning code would allow up to twelve stories on the site.
Now we know why Bazaar presented by Terrain couldn’t take place at the former Wonder Bread/Hostess Factory on the north bank of the Spokane River at 803 N Post. It turns out that the property is for sale. Kiemle-Hagood is representing the owner, who they describe as “motivated,” and list price is $3.5 million.
The former Wonder Bread Factory is one of our favorite old brick buildings in Spokane, so needless to say, we’re excited about the potential for redevelopment at this site. Rumors had focused on David’s Pizza, which closed when North Hamilton’s Clementine Building was constructed. But imagine something like an expanded Spokane Public Market with a myriad of fast-casual restaurants (a la Saranac Commons or San Jose’s San Pedro Square Public Market) and an expansive public patio. Imagine loft apartments overtop upscale retail. Imagine a total remodel with major investment in the site.
We can’t wait to see what happens.
What do you think? Would the former Wonder Bread Factory make a good replacement site for the Spokane Public Market? Would you like to see something like a larger Saranac Commons? Loft condos? A rooftop garden? Share your thoughts below in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter, and in person. We love to hear from you.