It’s been awhile since anyone has bought a prom dress or box of Frangos at the old Crescent building at University City.
But at least a few of the membership of the Spokane Valley City Council think the site could possibly become a new city hall.
The Crescent location seemed to top the list of contenders for a new municipal headquarters during a council study session last week. And while no decisions have been made – nor any funding sources identified – city staffers said they will study various options moving forward.
Of the six versions presented, a combined city hall/police precinct at the Crescent location got the most traction with council members. Other choices included a new building near the Crescent site, in an area on Sprague east of University Road, in the area of the former Yoke’s grocery store at Sprague and Progress, and on property at Mirabeau Point.
The options were presented by representatives from MMEC Architecture, who said city officials should look for a city hall that’s over 44,000 square feet on two acres. If combined with a police precinct, that site would need to be at least 71,500 square feet on up to 5.5 acres.
The Crescent location encompasses 100,000 square feet on just over six acres.
Council Member Dean Grafos said he believed the building could be purchased from Jim Magnuson, who owns the property, for around $4.5 million – much less than building a new structure.
However, Marian Evenson, one of the consultants from MMEC, said remodeling the Crescent would be just as expensive as a new building.
“In a building like that, it doesn’t cost you any less,” she said.
Council Member Arne Woodard said that any discussion about combining a city hall with a precinct would have to be had with the police chief before any decisions are made.
Grafos added that he would want Magnuson to tear down the buildings to the east of the former Crescent to make the structure freestanding.
Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels, however, said he is dubious that the old building is worth the effort.
“I do not like that building,” he said.