Developer hopes to renovate Ridpath

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane developer hopes to transform the historic and deteriorating Ridpath Hotel into micro-apartments and luxury condos.

Developer and Architect Ron Wells said he has purchased 12 percent of the units in the Ridpath and hopes to secure the rest of the space by July.

"I just enjoy renovating historic buildings," Ron Wells said. 

Developer hopes to renovate Ridpath

"This is a legendary historic building and I want to see that Ridpath sign on the roof light up and the building light up.  And see the building be active and alive again," he added.

Wells said the micro-units will be under 300 square feet and rent for $375 a month.

The Ridpath first opened its doors in 1899 and operated for more than a century.  In 2008, the doors closed and it's been a hot bed of vandalism ever since.  In 2011, the city discovered transients had been living, sleeping and going to the bathroom inside the hotel for months.

"The building was an institution in Spokane for a century and very important.  More than a century it was a very important part of downtown Spokane.  So bringing it back to life and cleaning it up and having 254 happy apartment tenants and three more condo dwellers loving living here.  It's walk anywhere, making it coming alive is really what the challenge is," Wells said.

During Wells' research he discovered a large marble pool in the basement of the hotel.  The pool has been concealed by a floor for almost half a century.  Wells said it appears the pool was built when the hotel was constructed.  He plans to restore the pool as part of the renovations.