The experts agree, Downtown Spokane could really use a Cheesecake Factory. For years, informal surveys of Spokane residents have consistently cited The Cheesecake Factory is a “must have” addition to the downtown dining scene. Now, a new economic-development partnership spearheaded by the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) provides the hard-data to help make it happen.

Earlier this year the DSP, together with five community partners, collaborated to gain access to a sophisticated household-level database that can support efforts around retail recruitment and business development for the downtown and the greater Spokane area. The provider, Buxton – a Dallas-based organization — gathers data from millions of customer transactions around the country to determine the purchasing habits and lifestyle trends for identified geographic areas.

Below are the 20 best retail matches that Buxton researched and recommended for the growing downtown market:

  1. Baja Fresh
  2. Bob’s Burgers & Brew
  3. Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom
  4. Chick-Fil-A
  5. RAM Restaurant & Brewery
  6. Dickey’s Barbeque Pit
  7. Mellow Mushroom
  8. The Cheesecake Factory
  9. Panera Bread
  10. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  11. Best Buy (smaller urban footprint)
  12. Buffalo Exchange
  13. Cinebarre Theatres
  14. Green Depot
  15. H&M
  16. Home Goods
  17. Lush Cosmetics
  18. Target  (smaller urban footprint)
  19. West Elm
  20. Whole Foods Market

“It is great to see that the Spokane market is expanding, with lots of potential to bring in more uses that build upon existing downtown vibrancy,” says DSP President, Mark Richard. “We are excited to better support those who are working hard to recruit retail while promoting downtown Spokane in general.”

The DSP is also utilizing Buxton to support existing small businesses as they continue to grow and expand. In early May the first in a series of free small business trainings was launched in partnership with the Spokane Library’s Level Up with more trainings to be announced soon.

“The easiest and best way to grow our downtown economy is to help our existing businesses grow and thrive,” adds Richard. “By offering access and trainings that may be cost-prohibitive for many, we are providing a boost to local businesses as well.”

Community partners consist of the City of Spokane Planning and Parks Departments, the Spokane Public Library, Visit Spokane, and Centennial Realty.