Jeff Humphrey

Road Improvements Attract New Businesses

Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308

Monday, March 11, 2019 at 11:05 a.m.

During 2019, the City of Spokane plans to spend about $50 million dollars on street improvements.

“Everything from major capital reconstruction projects to basic maintenance work like grind and overlay, chip seal work and crack sealing on both arterial and residential streets,” Mayor David Condon announced during his February 2019 State of the City Address.

New streets and sidewalks are good for Spokane businesses and that’s why the City has scheduled another round of renovations for Sprague Avenue near the south landing of the University District Gateway Bridge.

“In the East Sprague area, now dubbed the Sprague Union District, public investment has led to increased assessed property value, higher values for commercial real estate and considerable new private investment,” Condon said.

Dale Kleist, the former owner of Fast Eddie’s and Famous Ed’s is one of those new private investors.

“I chose Sprague Avenue for the affordability and you know the street project, cleaned everything up and the way the neighborhood is coming around. I think in the near future it will be the place to be,” Kleist predicted as he stood inside an old storefront where people used to have their fortunes told.

Kleist’s latest venture, at 1914 E. Sprague Avenue, is called “The Union Tavern”.

“The front was boarded up, pretty much just a shell on the front half and then we added on a thousand square feet in the back. We’re pretty proud of what we came up with, ya know. But it’s hard work but it’s pretty exciting,” Kleist said.

The Union Tavern is one of several new restaurants to open up along Sprague Avenue including Bennidito’s.

Kleist hopes more entertainment venues will take advantage of Sprague’s ongoing renovations.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and I hope the momentum keeps building. I mean there’s a lot of energy with the businesses that are here. I think over time, it’ll pick up and this will be the place people know where to go,” Kleist said hopefully.

More information on the State of the City is available on the web site.

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