For the past year, this article has been an absolute pleasure to write, highlighting so many good things happening in Spokane. As spring takes firm root, what is most exciting to see is so much of our dynamic growth will be permanent with an incredible construction season of exciting projects sustaining our momentum.
You often hear discussion of how cranes populate the Seattle skyline. A review of Spokane’s building activity suggests we, too, are shaping our future for the good. The majestic Grand Hotel is Exhibit A demonstrating our growth. Likewise, have you visited Airway Heights recently? Thanks to the earnest determination of city manager Albert Tripp and an expanding West Plans Chamber of Commerce, a seismic boom of businesses is sprouting up along Highway 2. Downtown, our blossoming Renaissance is most visible by the passionate work repurposing the iconic Macy’s into an innovative design, the M. Construction energy abounds with more than $1 billion in building permits issued including work beginning soon on the University District Gateway Bridge and a nearly completed vital modernization to the historic North Central High School. Adding to the economic rejuvenation since last fall are $52 million in startup company deals.
Not all of Spokane’s building Renaissance is brick and mortar, with our region’s dynamic Spokane Transit Authority initiating popular projects as part of its 10-year-long Moving Forward plan, and our dazzling gem of an airport has started nonstop service to five new major destinations in just the last month. The significance of our building momentum is it adds permanence to our blossoming Renaissance. Winston Churchill famously quipped: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” The great news is our visionary leaders are shaping a Spokane landscape that will impact our future for the good for generations to come—our Renaissance is building!
Col. Brian Newberry, USAF ret. is current executive director of Leadership Spokane and former Commander, 92 ARW, Fairchild AFB.