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EWU Named Catalyst Tenant


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    SPOKANE, Washington - Avista Development's planned Catalyst Building in Spokane's University District will feature Eastern Washington University as the primary tenant, opening the doors for EWU to be an innovation hub connecting students to the regional business community.  

    As the anchor tenant, EWU will be moving three programs from its College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CSTEM) to the Spokane location - its Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Visual Communication Design (VCD) programs.  

    The Catalyst will serve as the landing for pedestrians who use the University District Gateway Bridge currently under construction. Avista Development owns the land on which the building will be erected and has formed a separate entity, the South Landing Building A, LLC, with long-time McKinstry executives to develop the project. The 150,000 square-foot building will be the first office building in the state constructed out of environmentally friendly cross-laminated timber (CLT), and will be connected to an energy resource sharing eco-district planned for the development.  

    The developers envision a space where industry and academia intersect to foster collaboration and innovation. EWU's spaces will feature modern, high-tech classrooms that will provide students with immersive learning experiences. By relocating programs from its CSTEM, the university hopes to increase the capacity of the regional workforce in key areas of engineering, computer science, data analytics, digital media and tech commercialization and transfer.

    "Eastern Washington University is excited to establish itself as a distinctive university that truly inspires knowledge, ignites change and revolutionizes the way we do education," said EWU President Mary Cullinan. "From the beginning, we felt like the development at South Landing would provide our students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with the companies that may one day employ them." 

    "We're thrilled to be the catalyst for expanding Spokane's urban core," said Scott Morris, president and CEO of Avista. "This development will add to the vibrancy of the University District and will drive further economic development in the city."  

    The building is intended to demonstrate the possibilities of the integration of economic vitality, regional sustainability and energy efficiency by leveraging the legacy industries of the region (such as timber) and the innovation happening in the construction and education sectors. The use of CLT means the building will have a smaller carbon footprint than that of comparable buildings built with steel and concrete. CLT is a kind of mass timber made from trees harvested from local managed forests. Katerra, who will also be a tenant in the building, will manufacture the CLT in its new Spokane factory and will serve as the design builder for the project. McKinstry, whose offices are in Spokane's University District, will be the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and data contractor.  

    Designed to be net zero ready, the building will generate the energy it uses through solar panels on the roof and additional renewable energy technologies. The Catalyst Building will be connected to an eco-district that will be powered by a centrally located plant shared by Catalyst and future developments. The plant will allow buildings to share energy resources to more efficiently generate and use energy, and to store excess energy created by the buildings for later use.  

    For more information on the Catalyst project, visit

    Catalyst Building Rendering

    Michael Green Architecture of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the design architect. Construction of the new building is scheduled to begin in September 2018 and is expected to be complete by April 2020. For more information and project updates, visit  

    Avista Development, a non-utility subsidiary of Avista Corp., seeks to invest in local real estate, businesses and other assets that strategically leverage the strengths of local and regional partnerships, enhance the economic vitality of Avista's utility service areas, and further Avista's commitment to deliver shared value to those we serve. Avista also owns parcels to the south, east and west and has plans for future development of those locations.  

    South Landing Investors, LLC is made up of Dean Allen, Bill Teplicky, and other minority investors. Both Allen and Teplicky have extensive development experience in the Pacific Northwest. They have developed over 560,000 square feet together and over 1,365,000 square feet total. The SIERR Building is an example of their work in Spokane, and demonstrates how buildings can promote innovation and collaboration.  

    Eastern Washington University is a rapidly-growing, regional, comprehensive public university, located in Cheney, just 16 miles from Spokane. Founded in 1882, Eastern has evolved to meet the demands of an ever-changing workforce and become a driving force in the culture, economy and vitality of the Inland Northwest. The EWU Spokane campus is in the thriving University District and is home to the university's College of Health Science & Public Health and the College of Business & Public Administration. This presence allows the university to solidify important academic and community partnerships in the region. Learn more at  

    Catalyst Building Rendering


    Contact Information

    Dave Meany - EWU Media Relations
    300 Showalter Hall
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.6335
    fax: 509.359.4701

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