Investing in Downtown Spokane

Spokane is a vibrant metropolitan center serving as the cultural, economic, educational and social hub of the Intermountain Northwest. Between 2013 and 2020 over $300 million will be invested in public infrastructure and facilities in downtown Spokane.

Downtown Spokane offers an accessible city experience that combines civility, livability and simplicity. With over 500 new residential units planned for 2017 including a $150 million dollar investment in the adjacent mixed-use neighborhood, Kendall Yards, downtown offers a robust urban living market poised for future growth. Known for its rich shopping experience, its inspired restaurateurs, award winning microbreweries and winemakers, downtown is home to four James Beard chef-nominated restaurants and in 2015, Spokane was listed as one of the Six Great Small Cities for Food Lovers by the Wall Street Journal.

Spokane is a community of get-it-done dreamers with its abundance of rich, historic architecture; its recent opening of two new medical schools; and its launching of inventive and ambitious events that bring in over 500,000 visitors to downtown Spokane on an annual basis. In 2016, the Spokane economy brought in over $995 million in visitor spending. Punctuated by a powerful urban river gorge, second in size only to Niagara Falls, downtown Spokane has direct access to year-round recreational opportunities including the 100-acre destination park, Riverfront Park; the 37-mile Centennial Trail; and the Spokane River for kayaking, fly-fishing rafting and paddle boarding. In 2014, Spokane was ranked by Outside Magazine of the country’s Best Towns.

Access to Spokane’s restaurants, shopping and recreational activities is easy. Spokane offers a hassle-free antidote to the friction of modern living with an overall average commute time of less than 20 minutes, and with direct access to over 50 miles of urban bike lanes and 38 public transit routes. A newly planned six-mile bus rapid transit route planned through the center of downtown will continue to interconnect the region’s livability, healthcare, commerce and education.

2021 Economic Report Development Map


With four adjacent universities, two medical schools and two community colleges, Spokane delivers a regular pool of talented young workers for any enterprise.

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Innovation and Growth

With top-notch programs and small class sizes, Spokane's growing University District offers undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an array of degrees ranging from liberal sciences to bio sciences. Each year Spokane colleges and universities produce a pipeline of professionals ready to start their careers in an affordable community with diverse lifestyle opportunities.

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  • 43,229: Students enrolled in higher education
  • 34,000: Individuals employed in the downtown core
  • $60,633: Average income within a five-mile radius


Living in downtown Spokane connects you with nationally recognized chefs, countless award-winning craft breweries and wineries, a world-class Symphony Orchestra and an abundance of annual events.

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Karen was living in Florida when she decided to seek out an employer with advancement opportunities. She happened upon a job description tailored just for her, a hobby nature photographer and world traveler. The job description used words such as “Global,” “Urban,” and “Innovative.” A chance visit to Spokane turned a phone interview into a half hour meeting, into a three-hour tour of Pyrotek’s recently renovated downtown Spokane headquarters. Today, it takes Karen seven minutes to walk to work.

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  • 2.1%: Downtown vacancy rate
  • 927: Housing units under construction
  • $957: Average monthly rental cost

Get Around

It’s easy to get around Spokane. With a minimal commute time of 19.8 minutes, 10.8 million public transit rides and a rich array of bicycle routes, downtown is accessible.

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Melissa's daily commute consists of donning a reflective vest and bike helmet to traverse the four-mile round trip into downtown. Rain, ice, shine, snow, dark or light, Melissa prefers two wheel transit on any day her work obligations don't require her to travel by car. As one of many bike commuters, in 2016 her employer renovated their space to include a locked bike room and onsite showers. The best part? "Being outside and having that personal time for myself to clear my head."

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  • 17: Direct flights out of Spokane International Airport
  • 21,400: Off street parking spaces
  • 28: Bus routes serving downtown


Unique for a city of its size, downtown Spokane has more than one million square feet of retail space in an urban atmosphere that is unrivaled in the region.

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Boo Radleys

Situated directly across from Spokane’s Iconic Riverfront Park, Boo Radley’s is the go-to shop for kitsch curiosity collectors and off-beat pop culture items. Named after the famed recluse from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” owners Andy and Kris Dinnison opened the shop in 1992 and have infused the store with local flavor indicative of Spokane’s creative culture.

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  • $330 Million: Estimated 2017 spending at Apparel, Accessory and Home stores
  • $14.94: Average retail rental rate in downtown
  • 125,083: Available retail footage


Downtown Spokane is host to hundreds of annual events and a prime location to access a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. Fitness centers, spas, mountain-biking, kayaking and legacy events such as Hoopfest and Bloomsday keep Spokane citizens active.

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Fit Fun

The team at The Union Yoga and Spin studio have a dream to hold the world's biggest street yoga session. While that might seem like a challenge, it's not unprecedented on the streets of downtown, already known for Hoopfest Spokane, the world's largest three on three basketball tournament, and the nation's second largest foot race in Bloomsday. For now, the team settles with leading a weekly class of 200 participants overlooking the Spokane River.

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  • 3,590: Hotel rooms in the retail core
  • 200+: Annual events held in downtown
  • $71 Million: Public investment in the revitalization of Riverfront Park

Clean and Safe

The Downtown Business Improvement District maintains an active and engaging Clean Team and Security Ambassadors.

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Downtown Clean and Safe Team

Public safety is both a business and community issue, not just a law enforcement one. The Ambassadors program is a community service designed to sustain the competitiveness of downtown Spokane and ensure that the environment is conducive to business activities and tourism. Ambassadors are not Police, but a unique service that provides valuable patrols, which effectively manages security issues throughout downtown.

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  • 4,848: Citizens Assisted in 2020