Last Friday, Spokane Public Market announced that it would close its doors by this coming Friday, March 7. The Market opened at 2nd and Browne in 2011 to great expectations, but tepid customer support. The year-round food and artisanal-item market was designed as a centrally-locating gathering place that would be quickly expanded and remodeled into a more attractive space. These plans didn’t pan out, and within a year, it was controversially begging for support on its Facebook account, on posts that have since been deleted.
We can’t help but lament the loss of the Spokane Public Market as a civic resource, but we also question the back story behind the move toward its closure. The market has been languishing for years, with no major changes in order to attract more customers and vendors. With nearly 5,000 Facebook likes and a strong base of vocal support, we question whether everything that could have been done to save the market was done.
Regardless, Spokane Public Market will close March 7. Perhaps the space should be reopened as a combination public market-events center-fast casual food court a la San Jose’s San Pedro Square Market?
What are your thoughts on the Spokane Public Market closure? Share your comments below, engage with us on social media, and contribute a post in response. We want to hear from you.
General Growth Properties, the owner of NorthTown Mall at Wellesley and Division in north Spokane (and Spokane Valley Mall on Indiana), is planning a massive remodel of their largest inland Northwest property. The changes should get underway in the next few weeks as crews demolish much of the north side of the building to build a new, more central and clearly defined entrance.
Significant modern and timeless architectural embellishments will be used to temper the current bare concrete facade of the building. The plan is to first demolish about 120,000 square feet of space between Macy’s and Kohl’s. Then 63,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space will be added in its place. The parking lot will be reconfigured and the interior of the building will be repainted and generally improved. Notably, GGP plans to sign tenants new to the Spokane area, but no announcements have yet been made. With construction getting underway shortly, all indications are that the renovations will be complete by early 2015.
We’re pleased to see redevelopment at Spokane’s primary suburban-style mall, but we do wish that investment would be more concentrated downtown. The Downtown Spokane Partnership has already indicated that additional retail space, especially for large-format retailers similar to Nordstrom, is incredibly necessary downtown. With General Growth Properties making a major investment at NorthTown, downtown will have a hard time keeping up unless significant investment is made. And soon.
Protests continue over the Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory‘s glorification of sexual violence in the name of one of its beverages unveiled for its opening this past weekend. The drink, “Date Grape Kool-Aid,” has sparked significant national press coverage and calls for the name to be changed. In a PR disaster reminiscent of the Amy’s Baking Company fiasco of early 2013, the owner of the bar has held firm, several times lambasting opponents of the name and even rape victims and advocates.
It goes without saying, but this is not the type of establishment that we so desperately need in downtown Spokane. We favor businesses that contribute to the community, working with neighbors and local citizens to better the area and the region as a whole. These types of businesses have a sense of decency which the owners of the Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory clearly lack.
Here’s a roundup of just some of the national, regional, and local attention which has been paid to this story.