Otis Hotel micro-apartments in early-stage development

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The former Otis Hotel building, along with the Commercial Building next door, is one of the final missing links in the redevelopment puzzle along the East End. A number of projects are proposed or underway in the growing downtown district. (PHOTO: historicspokane.org)

The former Otis Hotel, located at 110 S Madison in Spokane’s West End, has been vacant since 2007, when the low-income residents who then called the building home were evicted (often in not-so-great circumstances) to make way for a new condo development. Ultimately, that condo development failed in the recession, and ownership passed from investors to banks and back again.

Now, it again looks like a developer is exploring redeveloping the property. While at this point the developer is unknown, ZBA Architecture, which perhaps most famously served as the architect for the Community Building/Saranac remodel, has attended a Pre-Development Conference with City staff. The Otis Hotel project would remodel and modernize the former SRO units on the second through fifth floors into studio and one-bedroom apartments at a total construction cost estimated at $4.5 million. With floor plans ranging from 250 to 510 square feet, and ultimately as many as 100 apartments occupying the building, it’s safe to classify the project as a “micro-apartment” project. The first floor would likely see remodeled retail space.

Indeed, while the pre-development conference includes no construction timeline, and a Pre-Development Conference is not a building permit application, we should take this news as confirmation that there is significant interest in redeveloping the former Otis building.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: What do you think of micro-apartments, and the potential for 100 new units, with even more new residents, on the West End of downtown? Is this the final piece of the West End puzzle, or would more development be necessary to further enliven this growing urban district? Share your thoughts on Facebook, on Twitter, in the comments below, or in person. We love to hear from you!

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3 thoughts on “Otis Hotel micro-apartments in early-stage development

  1. It sure would be nice to see that building fixed up. I go past it all the time. I’m all for more people living downtown as well. However, with the Ridpath being converted to micro-apartments, how many buildings downtown already serve that demographic? Is the music building next to Rain going to be converted to apartments still? It doesn’t seem like the West End Lofts is having any luck preselling it’s spaces. I haven’t seen any new news about it anyway. I just hope we get a strong community that can help support the downtown economy.

  2. Finally, some hope for that block.
    The building definitely needs a facelift and I’m hoping the developer will get creative with it and give it a more modern look along with larger windows.
    That’s the one thing that Downtown Spokane still lacks: new & modern residential options.
    Condo Tower proposals have come and go here over the years. If they had all been built, not only would our skyline look a lot different today, but there would also be many more housing choices for people who choose not to live in an old, drafty building.
    While the Otis isn’t that beautiful of a building in my opinion, an old building with new life in it is better than an old vacant building or worse yet, torn down for another parking lot.

  3. Pingback: First & J…Fridays on the Block | In Between Breaths

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