South University District Sub-Area Planning

Draft Planning Framework
The project team used results from the online survey and Community Design Workshop to shape a draft vision and goals for future district development that will guide any proposed changes to zoning or development standards that come out of the process. On October 2, City staff and consultants from MAKERS held an open house to discuss some of the ideas behind the draft vision and goals, answer questions, and hear your thoughts on different alternative concepts for the South University District. If you weren't able to make it to the open house, you still have a chance to review the poster boards presented at the open house, the latest draft of the vision and goals document, and ask questions or share your feedback with the project team by emailing Chris Green, Assistant Planner at

Poster Boards from October 2 Open House

Upcoming Activities

Plan Commission Workshop
Wednesday, October 23
Begins at 1:00 pm
Council Briefing Center in City Hall (Lower Level)
Note: This is an open public meeting, however no public testimony will be taken at the workshop.

Design Review Board Workshop
Wednesday, October 23
Begins at 5:30 pm
Council Briefing Center in City Hall (Lower Level)
Note: This is an open public meeting, however no public testimony will be taken at the workshop.

Planning Process

Planning for the South University District subarea will be a coordinated community effort of City staff, local stakeholders, key public representatives, and technical staff from partner agencies. A continuous public engagement strategy will be key to the planning process.

About the South University District

The South University District area, within the East Central Neighborhood Council boundary, is experiencing new growth and investment, and emerging as a true “gateway,” with close access to many of the fastest-changing parts of Spokane:

  • Just east of the Downtown core
  • Just south of the University District campuses of Gonzaga, WSU, and EWU
  • Just north of the concentration of medical services and hospitals on the lower South Hill
  • Just west of the Sprague Union district

Public and private projects to revitalize the University District have been underway for more than a decade and the recent opening of the University District Gateway Bridge marks the beginning of a new chapter for the district, particularly the area south of the bridge landing. The upcoming Catalyst Building, with 150,000 square feet of research and classroom space, the investment by the City and University District Public Development Authority in Sprague Phase II streetscape improvements, additional service by Spokane Transit Authority, additional planned connections to regional trail systems such as the Ben Burr Trail and the Centennial Trail, and the potential for several more public and private development projects in the vicinity of the south bridge landing are making the South University District a destination in its own right.

Growth of the student enrollment and research activities at adjacent university campuses and increased demand for centrally located places to live, work, and play should drive additional growth over the longer term. Taking place amidst these investments, subarea planning for the South University District provides a timely opportunity to ensure that development and redevelopment occurs within the district as envisioned by key stakeholders and the community at large. In particular, this planning process will make sure that development regulations in the subarea align with goals for increased housing and innovation sector employment, while allowing for the continued growth of the legacy businesses that have anchored the district over the years.

South University District area

Previous Activities

Open House on Draft Vision, Goals, and Policies
Wednesday, October 7 at PRIDE Prep Public Charter School
Draft Vision Statement, Concept Plan, Zoning and Parking Options
District Context and Existing Zoning

Community Design Workshop
Tuesday, July 30 at PRIDE Prep Public Charter School
Community Engagement Summary
Report on Results of Community Design Workshop

Stakeholder Focus Groups
Tuesday and Wednesday, July 30-31 at PRIDE Prep Public Charter School

Online Survey
June 22 – August 11, 2019
Report on Results of Online Survey

Related Documents

A few of the key previous plans that have focused on the South University District:

  • East Sprague
  • South University District area by the Gateway Bridge

Contact Information

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or with questions. Our dedicated South University District subarea planning staff are listed below.

Christopher Green
Assistant Planner, Neighborhood & Planning Services

Danielle Olson
Planning Assistant, Neighborhood & Planning Services

Items of Interest