The study area focuses on the southern portion of the Spokane University District which is bordered by the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF) railway on the north, Interstate 90 on the south, Division Street on the west, and North Hamilton Street (Highway 290) on the east with a particular emphasis on the landing of the proposed "Gateway" bicycle and pedestrian bridge near the intersection of Sprague Avenue and Sherman Street.
The "South Bridge Landing" area is identified as an "opportunity" site in both the University District Strategic Master Plan and the South University District-Sprague Corridor Investment Strategy. The vision for the area is that of a vibrant "live/work/play" environment that leverages the research and education assets of the academic institutions within the University District together with the biotechnical resources of the South Hill medical district and the business energy of Downtown Spokane.
Among other things, the study will help the city understand how its public infrastructure investments (including streets, bike and pedestrian corridors, streetscape and urban landscape, sanitary and storm sewers, and potable water) can help create a better functioning and more aesthetic environment positioning the area for redevelopment, leading to positive impact on rents and lower construction costs. The Bridge Landing area study can also be used as a prototype for how properties can be positioned for redevelopment in the University District; with the process, findings and recommendations of the study analyses being applicable across the University District.
Potential Study Area Catalysts include: the planned UDistrict Gateway Bridge, Sprague Avenue improvements and central parking facilities.
The work on the South University Integrated Planning Study began in early 2014 and will conclude at the end of June 2015. A public workshop was held on August 12, 2014 and a series of individual meetings were offered and conducted for property owners interested in individual consultations with the project team.
The final report is expected to be released in June, 2015.