The Dirt: Walmart unveils renovations to North Spokane

Walmart Supercenter recently unveiled renovations to its North Spokane location that it says will make it easier for customers to shop.

The remodel includes expanded parking for online grocery pickup, new signage and wider aisles for easier navigation and a remodeled front entrance with expanded grab-and-go offerings at 9212 N. Colton St., according to a company release.

The remodel also called for expansion of deli, craft beer and wine departments; updated vision center and pharmacy; and improved layouts of the apparel, infant, electronics, home and cosmetics departments.

“Our store updates make shopping at Walmart much more convenient for Spokane customers and helps speed their shopping,” John Vereide, store manager of Walmart Supercenter in North Spokane, said in a statement.

“We’re excited to celebrate our 20th anniversary serving the neighborhood and to welcome the Spokane community into the store to see all the updates we’ve worked on over the past six months.”

To celebrate the store’s renovation project and 20th anniversary, Walmart held a ribbon cutting event with remarks from City of Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward about its local impact and support of organizations since opening in 2002.

Avista demolishing two buildings

Two buildings in the University District are slated to be demolished to make way for a potential new development.

An environmental review submitted to the Washington state Department of Ecology indicates plans for Spokane-based Rob’s Demolition Inc. to raze a 12,400-square-foot building at 411 E. Sprague Ave.

Avista Development owns the property along with an adjacent building at 12 N. Grant St. That building will also be demolished, according to the environmental review.

The two buildings are west of Avista’s Catalyst Building and the Scott Morris Center for Energy Innovation, which are part of the company’s plan to create the five “smartest” blocks in the world.

Avista is demolishing the vacant buildings in preparation for a broader project, which has not been fully defined, Ed Schlect, Avista Corp.’s vice president and chief strategy officer, said in an email.

“The goal of any future plans for developing these properties would build upon our strategic investment in what we’ve already created, expand the features of the University District, and enhance the economic vitality of our community,” he said.

GNC opening in Spokane Valley

GNC, a health and wellness brand headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has plans to open a retail store in Spokane Valley.

A building permit is under review by the city to renovate a 1,740-square-foot space for GNC at 506 N. Sullivan Road.

Work includes new finishes, ceiling and lighting, relocation of plumbing and modifications to existing ductwork, according to the application.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based LGA Partners is the architect for the project. A contractor has not yet been determined.

GNC describes itself as the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional products, including vitamins, minerals, herbal and other specialty supplements.

David Shakarian founded GNC in 1935 as a small health food store called Lackzoom, which specialized in yogurt, honey, grains and “healthy sandwiches” in downtown Pittsburgh. He opened a second location six months later.

By the 1960s, people were embracing national foods and better nutrition, leading Shakarian to open several more stores and rebrand the company to General Nutrition Centers.

GNC began producing its own vitamin and mineral supplements as well as foods, beverages and cosmetics.

By the early 1980s, the number of GNC stores grew to more than 1,000, according to the company’s website.

GNC has more than 4,800 retail locations nationwide, including more than 1,000 franchise stores and shops in more than 1,200 Rite Aid locations, according to the company’s website.

GNC operates stores at 1802 W. Francis Ave. in the Five Mile Shopping Center and 226 W. Ironwood Drive in Coeur d’Alene.

Decade Awards converting building

Decade Awards is planning a new production warehouse in Spokane Valley.

Spokane-based Graham Construction and Management filed a building permit application with the city for a 5,160-square-foot addition to an existing building at 10020 E. Sprague Ave.

The addition calls for a production warehouse with two offices and restrooms.

Spokane-based Architectural Ventures is the architect for the project.

The permit valuation is $739,400, according to the application.

Spokane County Assessor’s Office records show Heir & Spare LLC, a company governed by Ted and Juanita Deruyter, purchased the property for $700,000 in February.

Ted Deruyter is president and CEO of Decade Awards, which operates a trophy shop at 11115 E. Montgomery Drive, Suite B.

Decade Awards, founded in 2007, specializes in corporate awards, plaques, sports trophies and medals.

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