Yaaay Ridpath! Yaaaay Wells!
In a press release posing as a news article,
Ron Wells announces that he's settled the unbelievable mess of the Ridpath Hotel, and will start converting it into studio apartments. He's working fast: scheduled opening in December of this year!
YAAAAYYY! Though the Ridpath doesn't have any of the architecture or class of the Davenport,
it's a modern steel and concrete structure with big rooms, and should take the conversion nicely.
When I first moved to Spokane in 1990, I stayed in the Ridpath for a month while searching for apartments or houses. At that time it was still a full-service hotel, with every necessity of life inside the building. Restaurants, laundry, barber, newsstand, beauty shop. If you didn't need to work, or if you could telework, you could live without ever touching the street!
I don't think Wells is aiming for that level of service, but the idea of a studio apt is tempting. Now that I've established a routine of exercise and a focus on outdoors, it's no longer highly
tempting; but as I get older it will pull more strongly.
Wells has accomplished a Herculean labor in clearing out a Byzantine tangle of property claims. The original Ridpath closed around 2005. It was bought and divided and securitized and resecuritized and rehypothecated and derivatived and optioned and indexed by two dozen absentee scammers, none of whom wanted to sell or give up the slight possibility of recouping. The building deteriorated and attracted transients, risking total loss; but still the flippers and scammers wouldn't yield. I'm guessing Wells must have royally
recouped the scammers to gain full ownership, because there had been no progress on the legal front despite some weak efforts by city gov't.
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Update: More info is out now,
including floor plans. Most units will be studio apts, basically the original room plus a kitchen counter; some units will be two rooms combined into a one-bedroom apt. Prices are excellent. Incidentally, the news article starts with a classic misplaced modifier: "After sitting empty for five years, local developer Ron Wells is moving forward with plans to bring the Ridpath Hotel back to life." Poor empty Ron.