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East Sprague Sets Example for New Development Scoresheet

Paige Browning
Spokane Public Radio

Spokane city leaders have rolled out a new framework for planning large city projects, such as the East Sprague revitalization. The new Economic Investment Program will run proposals of more than five-million dollars through a scoresheet.

City hall began revitalizing East Sprague more than one year ago, combining public and private investments, and focusing resources to that neighborhood. One business that benefitted is Benneditos Pizza, which opened a new brew pub this month on East Sprague. Chris Bennett runs the business.

Bennett: “It’s a great district, and we like what they’re doing with the sidewalks. And it’s cheap rent right now, and that’ good for a brewery, so that was one big draw. And we just saw the potential with everything that’s going on. Even with the bridge at the U-District over there, how that’s growing.”

The mayor and council president say this type of investment works for the city. They announced the new program saying it will bring greater transparency to those large projects.

It will work like this: investments over five-million dollars will be graded in six categories. The results will allow the city to pursue investments from public and private sources. Each project will be graded on how many new jobs it would create, the public benefit, and new revenue it would bring.

The city council must approve two updates to put the Economic Investment Program into action.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio

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