Capital Projects

  • Riverfront Park

    Riverfront Park

    What It Is

    In November 2014, City of Spokane voters passed by a nearly 70% margin a bond measure that allocated $6_m to the nearly complete overhaul of Riverfront Park. Since then Parks Department staff, aided by a robust public outreach program selected a landscape architecture and overall design program which will revitalize nearly every part of the Park resulting in the biggest investment in the ___ acre park since its development ahead of Expo ’74. DSP was involved in the design steering committee that devised the initial concepts leading to the successful bond measure, endorsed the measure and supported the campaign. Some specific project highlights include the development of a major regional playground on the site of a current parking lot on the North Bank, improved access to scenic vistas around the River and a completely revitalized Pavilion.

    Our Position

    DSP staff has remained engaged with the planning process through the Design Steering Committee and will facilitate opportunities for the downtown business community to engage with Parks staff and the design team as they advance through the first round of design (focused on the North Bank, the skating ribbon, and the carrousel enclosure. The following phase includes the Pavilion. As the project nears closer to implementation, DSP staff will also look for sponsorship opportunities as a means for downtown-based and other regional companies to help the Park attain the fullest potential contained within the park designs in development right now.

    Where We Are

    The Park is in design phase 1 right now, and will move into the next phase of design in spring. Initial construction is currently projected for fall of this year. More information on this massively important project is available here.

  • Sports Plex

    Sports Plex

    What It Is

    The Sportsplex is the next big public recreation facility in downtown following on the heels of the Spokane Convention Center expansion. It is a project endorsed by the Downtown Spokane Partnership Board of directors over two years ago because of its significant projected economic and cultural impact on the downtown core and the wider community. Though the project will be sited on the northern edge of Riverfront Park, it is a separate project from the Riverfront Park redevelopment project. The facility itself is projected as including two parts; an ice-house with an NHL-sized sheet and seating for approximately 1,500, and, a multi-purpose fieldhouse featuring a 200 meter, six lane indoor hydraulic banked track, and flexible interior space that would accommodate up to 17 volleyball courts, or 10 basketball courts, or 21 wrestling mats. The expected size of the facility will come to 180,000 square feet and will serve two primary purposes; to host large tournaments which generate tourism and to serve as a practice and competition venue for local sports groups and community programming. The benefit to the downtown and wider community is enormous; as projected in an independent studies conducted by Gonzaga University and the Sports Facilities Advisory, the Sportsplex would generate an estimated $33m of revenue to the community on an annual basis. Just as the Convention Center expansion has brought larger conventions to downtown, so would the Sportsplex attract events that are just out of reach based on available facilities to come to downtown. The projected $33m additional tourism spending per year is based on projections of 18,000-23,000 additional out-of-town visitors per year, staying an additional 26,000-46,000 hotel stays per year. An additional key benefit the Sportsplex will provide is the availability of world-class facilities for local sports teams during those times when it is not in-use for major tournaments.

    Our Position

    The DSP Board of Directors endorsed the project itself and recently endorsed legislation in Olympia that would allow the Public Facilities District to take on bonding capacity sufficient to build the Sportsplex. Staff had Board members have been in regular communication with our legislators to further the passage of the bill which has so far received bi-partisan support in the House. Its relationship to the Park project represents a major opportunity to make the most of that project as well.

    Where We Are

    Passage of current legislation in Olympia will be a critical development for the Sportplex and would allow the project to be seriously considered by County Commissioners for inclusion on a County Parks bond. That in turn would have to be passed by Spokane County voters. There are obviously a number of things that have to fall into place for this to happen and the path forward is not completely clear just yet. However, DSP staff will continue to support the project in whatever efforts are needed to further this important project for downtown and the wider region.

  • Urban Cultural Trail

    Urban Cultural Trail

    What It Is

    The Urban Cultural Trail (UCT) concept aims to create a cultural and active experience for pedestrians in the downtown by shaping an existing urban corridor – Riverside Avenue – into a sought-after destination. The UCT would encourage residents, downtown employees and visitors to walk along the trail, experiencing urban art, colorful signage, pop-up performances and historic storytelling. The project was a partnership between the DSP, the Spokane Regional Health District, and the Berger Partnership from Seattle, who recently completed similar trail studies for the Seattle Waterfront and MOHAI. The Berger Partnership led the stakeholder group and produced the study. The completed study outlines and defines character zones along the trail, as well as over eight types of urban interventions that might populate the trail experience.

    Our Position

    More active sidewalks means more activity for our local businesses and creates safer streets throughout the downtown. The Spokane Regional Health District is excited about how an urban trail can meet people where they are and encourage physical activity. This project will improve economic development and health though promoting walking along the cultural trail. A key strength of the trail is that most of its components are already there—connecting streetscapes, great architecture, increasingly vibrant businesses and the rich culture and heritage that shape Spokane. Projects like this are not dependent upon expensive infrastructure improvements. For minimal cost, you can start to change the urban environment, for the better.

    Where We Are

    The Berger Partnership recommends the project move forward in developing a unique brand that can build public awareness around the route. Next steps include financing the design and phased implementation for the project.

Transportation

  • Central City Line

    Central City Line

    What It Is

    The Central City Line is a six-mile Bus Rapid Transit route connecting Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College by way of Downtown Spokane and the University District. It will be a modern-style electric bus providing nearly 1 million rides per year. It will feature more frequent trips and convenient elements like pre-board ticketing, level boarding and improved stations with real-time signage, wayfinding and other amenities.

    Our Position

    This is a critical moment for the community as it considers whether to pass a slate of operational upgrades and major capital projects for the regional transit system. The Downtown Spokane Partnership wholeheartedly supports the measure and urges downtown businesses, organizations, and supporters to endorse the measure and vote yes on Prop 1 on this November’s ballot. For the region it would fund the construction of multiple capacity-building projects to ensure the region’s transit system is ready for anticipated population growth, and for greater downtown it would result in the Central City Line (CCL), a bus rapid transit project which would connect Spokane Community College, Gonzaga, the University District, Downtown Spokane and Browne’s Addition. The CCL would significantly strengthen the connection between several of Spokane’s residential neighborhoods, major centers of higher education and the downtown core, it would amplify downtown walkability and support a denser urban core.

    The completion of the CCL is the right kind of project, in the right place at the right time to make a critical difference for the region’s urban core. After over 15 years of planning and analysis, now is the right time to make this project happen.

    This is our request to you: 1) support the measure 2) contribute to the Yes for Busses campaign and 3) publicize your endorsement of the measure among your friends, family and colleagues to vote Yes this November on Prop 1. Information on what passage of Proposition 1 would do for the region is available here: http://stamovingforward.com/, and information about the Yes for Buses campaign, including its endorsers, is available here: https://www.facebook.com/yesforbuses/

    Where We Are

    Some funding for the Central City Line has already been allocated. To date, STA has received $3.5 million from state and federal agencies for planning and development. In 2015, the Washington State Legislature approved $15 million for capital costs. That funding enabled the Central City Line to be in the federal pipeline for $54 million in additional capital grants. It will also require $4.1 million a year in operating costs, which is comparable to other high ridership routes throughout Spokane County.

    The project development process is moving forward, with the Small Starts ratings package submitted in September 2017. The environmental documentation for the project was submitted along with the ratings package. The ratings package includes a significant amount of information required by FTA for consideration of a Small Starts Grant. This information includes cost estimates for the construction and operating costs for the project, environmental benefits, land use impacts and benefits, financial capacity of STA to support the construction and operations of the CCL, economic development benefits, local financial commitments and a host of other construction and operating factors. A summary of the process and ratings criteria can be found here. Based on the FTA ratings criteria, it is anticipated that the project will receive a Medium- rating, which meets the minimum FTA criteria for funding.

    STA is working with the local community to refine station design and location with ongoing public outreach . STA is currently developing a station identification policy framework for minor design revisions for station locations to integrate into neighborhoods. See the map

Safety Advocacy

  • Sit and lie ordinance

    Sit and lie ordinance

    What It Is

    In 2013 your DSP worked hard to find consensus among businesses, the City Council and civil rights attorneys to adopt reasonable and important changes to the “Sit and lie ordinance” (SMC 10.10.026). This ordinance, in partnership with increased Police presence in downtown, has led to lowered overall crime statistics in downtown Spokane, fewer large gatherings of people who intimidate customers and employees, and a decrease in aggressive negative behavior.

    Our Position

    The DSP led by the Board of Directors remains in support of the ordinance and believes changes in SMC 10.10.026 have critically improved everyone’s downtown experience while remaining respectful to all citizen’s use of our downtown spaces.

    Where We Are

    SMN 10.10.026 remains in its form following the 2013 approval. Downtown Ambassadors, Spokane Police, and other security agencies continue to educate about, and enforce, the ordinance as it stands.