‘We’re trying to address a need’: Days numbered for historic Chancery Building, new apartment complex to replace it

SPOKANE, Wash — The historic Chancery building has sat in its place of glory on Riverside and Monroe for 121 years.

Centennial Real Estate Investments announced plans on Wednesday to demolish the historic building. The plan is to replace it with a new apartment complex.

“We’re here to build a building that’s long-term, that’s going to last and contribute to Spokane,” said Doug Yost, Vice President of development and acquisition for Centennial.

The building has been vacant since 2019. Centennial has tried to sell the building but didn’t get any offers.  The company also tried saving the building as they did with the Chronicle and the old Macy’s building.

“We really as a company pride ourselves in exploring all these alternatives before we move in any kind of decision,” Yost said.

Centennial claims the apartment units will be affordable for downtown.

“$1100 to $1000 depending on the size,” Yost said. “It constantly changes here in Spokane as everybody is struggling with higher home prices and higher rent. And, we’re trying to address a need here.”

Historic preservation activists tried to save the Chancery building but because it wasn’t on the Spokane Historic Register, there’s nothing to keep Centennial from tearing it down.

“At this point, there’s nothing the government can do or folks can just do to say you can’t tear it down. It’s their building to do with it what they want,” said Megan Duvall, Spokane’s historic preservation officer.

Centennial can’t start on anything right now. Their first step will be on January 19 when the public landmarks commission hosts an open meeting to approve or decline the new building’s design.

Centennial believes the soonest they’ll start will be Fall 2022.

MORE: Plans in place to demolish Chancery building, build new downtown apartment complex