downtown spokane blog

July 04, 2005


Downtown Loses A Parkin Lot


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While I am an avid supporter of new downtown projects, I must admit I am concerned with the idea that we are losing another parking lot. We've all heard the lyrics sung by Joni Mitchell in which she recounts a horiffic scene of nature's destrucion, "paved paradise, put up a parking lot." While I agree our natural lands are being covered up by asphalt more and more, at least with a parking lot you can put your ear to the ground and hear faint gurglings of paradise's past. (And yes you have probably seen me on my knees at various downtown parking lots doing this.)

What you won't hear are the lyrics, "paved paradise, put up a parking lot, and then built a 100,000 square foot convention center on top of it." Construction of the new Convention Center Expansion (CCX) is well under way and a new website dedicated to its progress is already beaming with pride, despite the cover up of losing another parking lot. While including all upcoming events for the Opera House and Convention Center, it also has a reference page to keep up on the parking lot destruction. . . er the expansion progress, including a weekly photograph journal.

Link: Spokane Center
Link: Convention Center Photos

  • When Completed the Convention Center Expansion Will Create An Estimated 1000 New Hospitality Jobs
  • The Expansion Began In July Of 2004 And Will Continue Until July of 2007, Just In Time For The U.S. Figure Skating Championships
  • The Existing Convention Center Will Be Remodeled Into New Meeting Rooms And Banquet Facilities So That Multiple Events Can Be Held Simultaneously

There was much debate on which parking lot would get the axe. But in the end they decided to build east, leaving the south site parking lot virginal. Or so they would have us think. In the Downtown Spokane Partnership's (DSP) new Downtown Buisness Plan for 2005 they make it a priority action item to help stimulate different uses for the south site. This would include looking at retail, housing, food and beverage, or other convention uses.

Downtown Business Plan 2005

Looks like Spokane won't stop until there is a grand entrance of shops, condo's, and resaturants as people enter downtown from Division. And then where will paradise be? Under forgotten parking lots, covered up with a bustling downtown.