Presidential Theme for 2018-2019

North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
February 4, 2019   
Rotary calendar:
                  Feb. 11: Rotary Connects: Gathering starts at 4:30 p.m. at Maryhill Winery Spokane Tasting Room, in Kendall Yards (just east of Nectar’s).
                  Feb. 18: Presidents’ Day Holiday. No meeting.
                  Feb. 23:  "Dirty Hands" project for Family Promise of Spokane at former Cassano Grocery building at 2002 E. Mission from 9 to Noon – Please email Lenore if you can attend.
                  Feb. 25: Lunch meeting at Nectar in Kendall Yards with Kate Reed and Brooke Matson of Spark Central; a tour of the facility (across the street from Nectar) will follow lunch.
Community and Spokane City Council by Karen Stratton
            Karen Stratton from Spokane City Council visited the club and discussed several issues facing the city and gave updates.  She is the representative from the West Central area of Spokane and focused on working closely with the community.
            The first issue discussed was the Public Safety Levy.  This levy was born from multiple neighborhood meetings that revealed that crime is the biggest issue facing residents in the area. 
            Currently there is a lack of police, fire, and resource officers and often times no response.  Community members said they were willing to pay for increased response capability and the levy was devised.  The increase in taxes will provide for 30 additional firefighters, 38 are currently on a grant but will be laid off if the levy does not go through for the 2020 budget.  The levy will also
provide for more police officers, investigators, district attorney staff and detectives.  The city council. the mayor and other agencies are looking to find long term funding solutions to increase the safety for our city.
             The situation for the homeless in Spokane was also discussed.  Currently the city has beds for 275 and has extended hours due to the cold in 2 of the shelters.  Karen discussed how the "sit and lie" law allows homeless to not be arrested for being in any one area for too long if there is no space in shelters for them.  However, with enough space now available, we are seeing an increase of arrests in the city. 
             Karen covered issues with Landlord and Tenants and the efforts being made to ensure that no landlords discriminate against applicants using vouchers for housing.  This is a work in progress.  Low cost housing is an issue in the city and the council is working to find ways to promote cottage housing in areas, which allows smaller multi-homes on individual plots of land.  This may help with low income and senior housing issues. 
             There are multiple residential growth paving projects being planned for the city in 2019.  The northwest part of Spokane will not see much of this as the allocated money was spent on an earlier project that was in dire need.
             To combat the drug crisis in Spokane, social workers will be with some police car patrols to deal with responding to drug related crimes. 
            Finally, Karen also discussed how the city is working with the native tribes in the area to combine resources to deal with homeless and drug issues in Spokane.  A focus is also to make sure that those who qualify for tribal resources, know about the help available and how to obtain it. 
Bulletin Producers
           Editor:  Tim Zacharias and Sandy Fink
           Photos:  Eric Johnson
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
January 28, 2019   
Rotary calendar:
            Feb. 4: Lunch meeting at Nectar in Kendall Yards. Speaker TBA.
            Feb. 11: Rotary Connects: Gathering starts at 4:30 p.m. at Maryhill Wining Tasting Room, in Kendall Yards (just east of Nectar’s).
            Feb. 18: Presidents’ Day Holiday. No meeting.
            Feb. 25: Lunch meeting at Nectar in Kendall Yards. Speaker TBA.
‘Frank’-ly this neighborhood changed Spokane
            When new history books about Spokane Kendall Yards are written they will have two important chapters.
            The early days will include the merging rail yards along the north bank of the Spokane River which brought commerce and development by the Great Northern and Union Pacific railroads.
            The new chapter, less than 10 years old, is the remarkable transformation of turning Kendall Yards into a special urban village.
            The driving force of new change has been the Frank family. Jim Frank and his son, Joe, developed the vision for the walkable, mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood.
            At the Jan. 28 club meeting, Joe Frank discussed the history, growth and next few years of build-out at Kendall.  The meeting was at Nectar’s, just east of the Kendall Yards’ office.
            Father and son connections are common at Greenstone and the founding family.  Both are Spokane natives – Jim in North Spokane, Joe in Liberty Lake, where Greenstone offices are headquartered.  Both Jim and Joe attended Gonzaga Prep.  And both Jim and Joe have a keen sense about what would work downtown, even when many of their roots were established in suburban areas of large lots and sprawling homes.
            And Joe has moved up to president and CEO of Greenstone, while Jim works on special projects.
            At the club meeting, Joe Frank recalled the tenuous Kendall Yards history.  Metropolitan Mortgage owned the 78-acre site.  The railroads were moved for Expo ’74 and Riverfront Park’s own downtown transformation.  The land west of Monroe was considered a “brown field” area, weeds and dirt awash with diesel fuel dumps and other challenges.  Metropolitan sold the land to developer Marshall Chesrown who envisioned very high-end, high-rise units.  Despite spending $10 million on the project, Chesrown’s plan failed, and Washington Trust asked if Greenstone was interested.
            “At the courthouse steps (to open the bids), no one showed up,” Joe said.  But in 2011 the Franks took the gamble and the first resident units in Kendall Yards were built.  “We were on the ground within eight months,” Joe said.  “In business, often, the third time is the winner,” he said.
            The early homes on Bridge Street were priced as low as $120,000, with tax incentives, he said.  The same units now sell for $250,000, he said, adding new units do not have tax incentives.
Frank shared copies of the Kendall Yards’ master plan map with members.  Current plans end at Summit Parkway a block west of Nettleton.
            Projects this year and next include a three-unit “mini hotel” just west of Nettleton, plus higher density residential units and townhouses a bit farther east.  A coffee shop and pastry shop have been located near Nettleton and the Centennial Trail for shorter walks to the west end of the project.
            Frank said in the area just north of Summit and west of Monroe, two buildings with residential and “soft” commercial space will add 5,000 square feet and 4,000 square feet north of Summit.  A “training yards” space for parties, a gym and other uses has been added in the building which houses Maryhill Winery (where our club will meet Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m.).
            Asked about the open space east of Summit and west of Monroe, Frank said that space “is our most valued piece.  We will build that last.”  He would like a building of 10 to 12 stories as a signature entrance to Kendall Yards.
            At a years-ago visit to our club, Jim Frank talked about integrating with the West Central neighborhood, avoiding a gate-walled development.
            This time, Joe Frank continued the concept, hoping the mixed-unit of apartments, houses and townhouses is “the right balance” for the development and for the West Central area.
            One element not in the mix, at least for now, are condominiums.  Joe and member Eric Johnson, who serves on a statewide housing board, both talked about too-tight restrictions which hamper condo building all over Washington.
            Joe said in one case Greenstone took a condo application to regulators, but the restrictions were so high they just changed the plans to an apartment unit and approval was quickly done.  He said some legislators, including Rep. Mike Padden, R-4th District, in Spokane Valley, are asking for changes.
            With the success of Kendall Yards, Joe said some of the elements downtown might be replicated in village developments in Liberty Lake.
            History recalls that pioneer Charles Kendall built the first bridge linking the south and north banks of the Spokane River.  The Franks’ transforming changes linking Kendall Yards’ to downtown and West Central have entered a new era of development which may be just as important to Spokane.         
The bulletin producers:
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
            Photos: Sandy Fink and Eric Johnson

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Spokane North

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1st & 3rd Monday–Lunch meeting at Noon at Nectar Wine Bar; 2nd Monday-Rotary Connect meet-up at 4:30pm–check website for location---changes monthly; 4th Monday–Rotary Serves–a service project-check website for details; 5th Monday-no events
Nectar Wine Bar--Kendall Yards
1331 W Summit Parkway
Spokane, WA  99201
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Spokane North Rotary