Document 64: Meeting of Spokane Property Owners

“Minutes of the Meeting of the Downtown Property Owners,” 16 April 1959, Spokane Chamber of Commerce Papers, Box M,
Eastern Washington State Historical Society.

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Minutes of the Meeting
of the
Downtown Property Owners
Held at the Progress Room, Davenport Hotel
6 p. m., April 16 [1959?]

Those present were Chairman John Hieber, Lynn Cornish, T. H. Galland, J. W. Kipper, Charles Parks, Robert L. Paterson, Clarence Paulsen, Avery Peyton, M. H. Segner, Al Schilling, William Hyde, Kinsey Robinson, and L. W. Markham.

Chamber President J. W. Kipper explained the concern the Trustees have over the decline in downtown property values and the increase in downtown vacancies. He discussed programs active elsewhere to stem deterioration in the central business districts and the opportunity of activating such a program in Spokane. He stressed the necessity of direct interest and participation in such a program by the major downtown property owners.

Following the presentation, a general discussion of the need was held which revealed a significant decline in downtown business volume by specialty shops and small stores, and a lagging increase in volume of the major downtown stores. The decline in bus traffic to the central area and the substantial number of store vacancies were analyzed as another major indication of the decline in business volume.

It was agreed that the situation is serious and that a major effort to reverse the trend is timely. It was agreed that those in attendance must provide the basic support for the program if it is to be effective. It was agreed that it is vital that every effort be made to make the downtown bright and attractive and that its standards must be upgraded.

John Hieber, named by the Trustees of the Chamber as Chairman of the downtown group, described surveys made elsewhere by realty development authorities. He expressed the belief that five to ten thousand dollars would be needed to make a preliminary study of the problem and develop on general program for improvement.

Motion was made that two authorities on urban redevelopment within central business districts be invited to come to Spokane to meet with the property owners to discuss their employment to conduct central business district studies. The motion was seconded and carried with the recommendation that Mr. Hieber make the contact, with the redevelopment specialists.

Respectfully submitted,

L. W. Markham

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest