Jeff Humphrey

Saving History and Affordable Housing

Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308

Friday, June 12, 2020 at 2:45 p.m.

A historic building, just south of Interstate 90, is sitting in the path of North-South Freeway construction. So now, the East Central Community Organization is trying to save the Rose Apartments from the wrecking ball.

“You know this whole area has had so much affordable housing removed, and this was a historic building. It was providing affordable housing, and we just said, ‘this one’s gotta stay,’ ” said Chris Venne of the East Central Community Organization.

After the Washington Department of Transportation used eminent domain to seize the land underneath the Rose Apartments, the structure itself could have been demolished.

However, the State saw the value in trying to preserve the building and offered it up at auction for, just the right bidder.

“Only someone who would place the building back into the neighborhood could purchase it. So they held an auction, and we were the only bidder, and we repurchased the building for $10,” Venne said proudly.

And, it’s a building worth saving and relocating. In 2012, the City of Spokane helped the East Central Community Organization buy, and then remodel the century-old Rose.

“We were able to help out on that project with acquiring the building, extensive, historic rehabilitation of the building and, restoring it for eight units of affordable housing,” explained Paul Trautman of the City’s Community, Housing & Human Services Department.

The East Central Community Organization has hired a contractor to gently move the Rose Apartments to a vacant lot one block south of building’s current location.

New tenants will be a stone’s throw from all that Liberty Park has to offer.

“We have a new library coming in that’s just kitty-corner across the street. We having this housing development that’s moving to its new location. So this opportunity for this neighborhood to see growth and investment, is critical to East Central,” said Spokane City Council member Betsy Wilkerson.

The East Central Community Organization hopes to have the Rose Apartments ready for new tenants by the end of 2020.

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