Inland LLC has brought in construction crews and equipment to launch the redevelopment of the former Valley 6 theater site. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

Inland LLC has brought in construction crews and equipment to launch the redevelopment of the former Valley 6 theater site. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

Work begins on redevelopment of Valley 6 site

Spokane company breaks ground on 70-acre property

Inland Group LLC has started work on its development at the old Valley 6 Outdoor Theater site.

The Spokane-based firm broke ground the week before Thanksgiving.

“The first wave of permits we’ve released are for everything that’s on the south half of the 70 acres, the dividing line being 49th Street, and that is for 500 dwelling units, 14 buildings, and that is what they call Copper Gate,” said Community Development Director Jeff Tate. “Everything that’s south of 49th is the residential component.”

Phase 2, The Heart, a community gathering space on the north half, is in design review with the city.

“They don’t want that to take too long to review because while they have contractors out there and they’re mobilized, they want to be able to do that work,” Tate said.

Phase 3, the commercial area north of The Heart, is in design, Tate said, and likely months away from permitting.

“That being said, you’ll see ground work over the whole site because they have to do some prep work, do some grading, they have to create storm ponds, they have to create connections on the flood plane areas there,” Tate said. “I don’t want to be confusing: vertical south half, horizontal the whole thing they’re doing work on.”

Inland had to launch the initial residential component of its project and meet a critical year-end funding deadline. In the balance was Washington State Finance Commission’s award to Inland Group LLC of housing finance credit, which required that construction start by the end of the year.

Calls to John Fisher, Inland’s development manager, at the company’s home-base in Spokane were not returned in time for this article.

Inland’s project will focus on “amenity-rich living options tailored around a healthy living environment” that provides access to trails and outdoor open space, community gardens of at least 800 square feet, a community trail system, two playgrounds, outdoor amenities and a pool.

A key feature will be the privately-owned-and-programmed community open space, The Heart, with a stage for performances, a movie theater and space for five food trucks with power and utilities hooked up to them.

Its residential component – composed of workforce or affordable housing – will provide an opportunity to build off-site structures, including the extension of I Street Northeast north to 277th.

Its commercial component, the Marketplace, is to connect through the center of the development to 500 apartment units.

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