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Land use planning efforts around Geiger Blvd., immediately west of the City of Spokane and adjacent to major inland transportation hubs such as the Spokane International Airport, have resulted in attracting industrial, commercial, and residential development in recent years. On May 28, 2019, the “Partners in Progress” groundbreaking was a celebration for the agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations that worked together to secure the $14.3 Million BUILD Grant from the United States Department of Transportation.
5th District Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who was instrumental in the grant award process, said the economic impact of development on the West Plains will be felt throughout the Inland Northwest. “We are seeing great development in the West Plains area, but there are still hundreds of acres of undeveloped land along Geiger Blvd. In order to support continued expansion, it was clear we needed to make an investment to reconfigure the road to support increased traffic. I was happy to work with the Department of Transportation in support of this grant funding that will bring new jobs and opportunities to the region. Congratulations to the ‘Partners in Progress’ and their successful collaboration,” she said.
Washington State Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar added, “When Spokane County and our local partners asked us to get these improvements done in time for the opening of the Amazon facility, we found a way to advance the work, incorporate the last-minute changes necessary, and still stay under our legislative budget for the project. As this area continues to grow, we are confident that this group will work together on finding solutions to the land use and transportation demands that will come with the expansion.”
Speaking on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners and Spokane County Public Works, Commissioner Al French was enthusiastic about the future of the West Plains. “With the draw of thousands of acres of vacant land, easy access to Interstate 90, the airport and rail transportation, the West Plains Public Development Authority (PDA) has long been poised for smart developments like the Geiger Boulevard improvements. It was all made possible by a unique partnership between the County, City, State, and private industry. This project is a great example of the progress that can be made when mutually beneficial partnerships form and it’s one we hope to replicate in the future.”
The groundbreaking took place in front of the new Amazon Distribution Center, which is still under construction. It is estimated that when the four-floor, 2.6 million square foot facility is completed, it will provide approximately 1,500 new jobs and increase to 3,000 to meet seasonal demands.
In addition to new industrial and commercial developments, there is a mix of single family and multi-family developments that will be built in the area, adding almost 1,500 new residents to the West Plains and surrounding communities.