New high-rise hotel on the horizon in downtown Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Public Facilities District is closing to approving an agreement with developers Walt and Karen Worthy to build a high-rise hotel near the INB Performing Arts Center in downtown Spokane.

The Worthy Group has signed a letter of intent to purchase a full city block to build a 700-room, nationally branded hotel with 900 parking spaces.

Walt and Karen Worthy, who remodeled The Davenport Hotel, later built a second hotel, the Davenport Tower, and then acquired the Hotel Lusso across from the Davenport, announced their intent to build a new hotel across from the convention center and the INB in September of last year. When completed it will be the city's largest building.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity, not only for the District but the entire region," said District board chairman Mick McDowell said in a written statement.   "Constructing this type of hotel means we'll be able to host bigger events and conventions.  And more people in Spokane means a boost to our economy. Walt and Karen are to be commended for their vision and support of Spokane."

The city block the Worthys intend to purchase is located along Spokane Falls Boulevard between Bernard and Washington and is currently a public parking lot. The long-term plan for the space as outlined by the public facility district calls for the block to be used for convention center enhancements. The agreement between the district and the Worthys calls for 300 public parking spaces earmarked for patrons of the convention center and the INB.

To help facilitate access across Spokane Falls Boulevard, the district will pay for a skywalk to be built across the road between the convention center and the new hotel.

The public facilities district board will discuss the Worthy Group's proposal during its next regular meeting on Tuesday.