Carhartt Opens in Downtown Spokane

The opening of the Carhartt store at the Bennett Block last week reflected the vision, determination, and collaboration of the owner, Dru Hieber, and the NAI Black Leasing team comprised of Mark McLees and Stephen Pohl to attract a signature soft-goods national retailer to this important downtown corner.

The Bennett Block and Carhartt have linked past lives.  While they both were founded at the turn of the century, the two stand as icons of enduring quality – Carhartt, with its outerwear iconic branding and the Bennett Block ownership, preserving the rich architectural excellence and providing prestigious retail and office storefronts.

Carhartt officially opened its first location in Spokane, Washington on July 15th.  The store conducted promotions throughout the day contributing to a successful launch.  Representing NAI Black, Mark McLees and Stephen Pohl, brokered the lease of the 3,800-square-foot space.  They attended the grand opening to support Carhartt with NAI Black Summer Analyst, Mike Di Lucca.  Di Lucca noted that “Carhartt fits well in this location.  The rugged, outdoor lifestyle of Carhartt’s customers and the growing appeal to the millennial generation creates an evolving retail opportunity.”

Mark McLees, a co-broker for the Bennett Block, says “I’ve been fortunate enough to broker many of downtown’s historic building re-use and development projects over the last 13 years, and the Bennett Block has turned-out to be one of the most iconic and exciting projects for me to date.  The owner and developer of the Bennett Block, Dru Hieber, a determined visionary and entrepreneur, has overcome many obstacles to bring life back to this century old building.”  The atmosphere of “exposed ‘brick and beam’ throughout the building became a significant factor for Carhartt opening their store at this location,” said Stephen Pohl, co-broker.  The team consisting of Kilgore Construction, Inc., Nystrom+Olson Architecture, and NAI Black Commercial Real Estate, as well as Mark Richard (President of Downtown Spokane Partnership), “all worked in conjunction to provide the absolute best quality and skill sets needed to attract this tenant, as well as the many other tenants now residing in the Bennett Block” said McLees.

The Bennett Block was originally constructed in 1890. Hieber Properties, a Spokane-based development company, started renovating the building in early 2014 and made it what the community sees today.  The Bennett Block will be the first stand-alone retail location in Spokane for Carhartt, with Seattle being the next closest. “Spokane continues to grow as a significant market to attract the caliber of retailers such as Carhartt to its downtown merchant mix,” said Pohl.

Carhartt will serve as the anchor tenant for Bennett Block, which has a wide array of tenants including Rocky Rococo Pizza, Mizuna Restaurant, Fusion Media, Indaba Coffee, Nuess Photography, SMITH Co. Marketing, and Poplawski Law, among others. A virtual tour is available if you’d like to see more of this historic building.

There is still retail space available on the street level as well as office space on both the second and third floors. For more information about leasing at Bennett Block, please contact Mark McLees at 509-622-3554, or Stephen Pohl at 509-622-3568,

NAI Black, licensed as Black Commercial, Inc., has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. If you are interested in learning more about our brokerage and development services, please contact our office at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Matilda Apartments Construction Update

Construction is well underway at The Matilda! Property Manager Kim Sample and Intern Andrew Black were treated to an exclusive tour of the mixed-use Matilda Building located at 1028 N. Hamilton last week to view the construction progress. The building is expected to be completed in early October 2016.

PM Kim Sample & Intern Andrew Black

Intern Andrew Black having some fun

As seen in the photos, the exterior of the building is near completion and sheetrock is going up in all of the interiors. The rooftop patio tiles have been laid and the large slider doors with access to the Juliet balconies are now installed.

This mixed-use building will be comprised of 57 apartment homes including one, two, and three bedroom units along with retail space on the first floor and a two-story secured garage parking structure with electric car charging stations.

Utilizing geothermal heating and cooling, residents of The Matilda can expect to save an average of 45% on their heating and cooling costs. Card access entries will allow residents to enter their garage space, the building, and their individual apartment with just a swipe of a card or they have the choice of using an access entry app available on their smartphone.

The Matilda will have a rooftop patio featuring an indoor/outdoor lounge area, full kitchen, two outdoor fireplaces, barbecues, and a gorgeous space to enjoy the views.

Indoor lounge area

Outdoor patio!

NAI Black is the residential property manager for The Matilda Building and has been involved with the project throughout the planning stages. As the property manager, we handle all leasing, tenant relations, and maintenance at The Matilda.

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About Black Realty Management

NAI Black, licensed as Black Realty Management, provides property management services for both commercial and multifamily properties, including apartments, condos, and HOAs. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Intern Spotlight: Tyler Spidell

Meet Tyler Spidell, an intern here at NAI Black. Tyler is a student at Texas State University. He is currently studying agriculture business and plans to minor in economics. Tyler is a native of Idaho but grew up as a “military brat” so he has been all over the country and has even lived in Germany for 4 years. Tyler enjoys the outdoors and is an avid fly-fisherman. He gained interest in commercial brokerage through his cousin Drew Ulrick, a sales and leasing broker here at NAI Black. After graduation, Tyler plans to begin a career in commercial real estate.

How has your experience been at the Texas State University?

My experience at Texas State University has been a time of learning and maturing into an adult. I can remember my first day on campus walking up the infamous steps of Texas State and seeing Old Main, our flagship building, I couldn’t believe I was finally on my own in college. In my first semester at Texas State, I rushed a social fraternity Phi Kappa Psi and gained many life-long friends. Phi Psi taught me respect and the great joy of serving others. An example of that is last October, Hays county was faced with major flooding, many homes were destroyed and even lives were lost. Our fraternity chapter took it upon ourselves to go aid the flood victim families by helping clean up debris and donating food. In classes, I was always amazed by the wealth of knowledge my professors had. My favorite classes so far have been micro and macroeconomics because I got to study the way markets operate in an economy. I feel that it is important to have a basic understand of economics in many occupations, but especially brokerage. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to study at such a great institution. I am and forever will be a Texas State bobcat, eat em’ up!

Tell us about your experience interning at NAI Black.

From Tuesday morning meetings, to CEO lunches, to going on field runs with other interns, I received a great understanding of the day-to-day operations of a commercial broker. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to come all the way up to Washington and learn at Spokane’s largest commercial brokerage firm. Everyone in the office was very knowledgeable and taught me a lot about this industry. I mainly worked under Drew Ulrick, a sales and leasing broker here at NAI Black. Drew mainly operates in retail and industrial space so I got to learn what those markets are like in Spokane. I now plan to pursue commercial brokerage as a post-graduation career and NAI Black is responsible for giving me the motivation and experience to get into this industry.

About Black Commercial

Black Commercial, Inc. provides has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

NAI Black at the 2016 ICSC RECon in Las Vegas

Broker Drew Ulrick with NAI Global CEO Jay Olshonsky

This week is the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) RECon in Las Vegas – the global convention for the shopping center industry. We have 10 members of our commercial brokerage team representing NAI Black at the convention, and they are finding lots of opportunities to learn the latest industry trends and network with retail real estate professionals from all around the world.

RECon, which runs from May 22 to 25, expects to bring more than 36,000 attendees to the 1-million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center for what is considered the industry’s networking and deal-making event of the year. The convention kicked off on Sunday with a keynote address from Earvin “Magic” Johnson followed by a talk from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

The convention features informative professional development sessions, tackling topics like “Reinvention: Property Redevelopment and Repositioning,” “Leasing Strategies for Difficult Spaces,” and “Retailer Math 101 for Specialty Leasing.” RECon also includes forward-looking sessions like “Tomorrow’s Shopping Centers, Today” and “Retail Technology Trends to Watch.”

But it’s not all work and no play. With a handful of receptions and private parties throughout the week, there are lots of opportunities for the Black Commercial crew to unwind and have some fun.

(Left to right) Mark Pinch, Drew Ulrick, Stephen Pohl, Brian Anderson, John Powers, Dave Black, Chris Bell, Terry Tombari, and Bryan Walker

(Left to right) Dave Black, Stephen Pohl, Drew Ulrick, Brian Anderson, Chris Bell, Mark Pinch, Terry Tombari, John Powers, Steve Ridenour, and Bryan Walker

About ICSC

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. For more information about ICSC visit and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to

About NAI Black

Black Commercial has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. If you are interested in learning more about our brokerage and development services, please contact our office at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

The Influence of Generation Z on CRE

About the Author: The following blog article was authored by our affiliate NAI Global – the single largest, most powerful global network of owner-operated commercial real estate brokerage firms. For information about NAI Global, please visit To access a collection of NAI Global original content, news, and blogs, visit

The workplace may be getting a clear idea of what makes millennials tick, but employers and the office sector can’t stop there. The next generation of workers, named Generation Z, has topped the horizon and is beginning to make itself known in the workforce.  By 2020, 40% of consumers will be members of this demographic, and they already make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population.

This group is made up of people born after 1995.  They have never known life without the Internet, and are considerably more “connected” than even the millennials.  This generation (for the most part) has always walked around with their own phone in their pocket. They place a tremendous emphasis on personalization.

Generation Z overwhelmingly prefers to shop online, and most of them would like to own their own business. They are independent, but also more influenced by their parents than were the millennials. Start-ups and entrepreneurs are their career heroes. They prefer the idea of a flat organizational structure to the idea of a hierarchy at work.

This generation is adept at research and “self-education.” When they need to do something they can usually find a youtube video that gets them started. This has some applications for how training might best be provided as they enter the workforce.

They have an average attention span of 8 seconds.

This generation embraces living in the “right now.” Hence the popularity of Snapchat and other apps that leave no digital trail. Communication is expected to be extremely concise: whole conversations can be conveyed with the right emoji.

Obviously, the increasing numbers in Generation Z mean that they’re having a tremendous impact on retail. Their preference for online shopping and for receiving all information digitally influences marketing as well as the popularity of multi-channel retail.

Generation Z is concerned about doing good. They want to make a difference in the world, and more than 60% of them expect to be able to do that as part of their career. This makes it likely that company culture will continue to be a major factor in recruiting and retaining this generation as they enter the workforce. This is already named by millennials as one of the top reasons for choosing an employer.

A concern for the environment is characteristic of Generation Z, and they’re concerned about the outlook on that front. They’re also pessimistic about the economy, and express stress about their future. Will this lead them to stick with jobs longer than the current generation? The jury is out.

A preference for social interaction and collaboration makes Generation Z a good fit for many of the trends going on in office space and workplace design today.  They will be looking for flawless tech infrastructure and plenty of opportunity to interact and team up with colleagues. Open office design, schedule flexibility, and workplace amenities will continue to be important.

Considering that the oldest members of Generation Z will be graduating from college in a year or two, the time seems right to make a study of this demographic. Its influence is already being felt in retail, thanks to their purchasing power, and the workplace is next.

About NAI Black

NAI Black is a proven leader in commercial brokerage and property management services serving the Inland Northwest region. For more information about the services we offer, please give us a call at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Property Manager Spotlight: Heidi Irvine

We’d like to take a moment to recognize Heidi Irvine, Commercial Property Manager for Black Realty Management, for the outstanding service she provides to our clients. Working together with the Black Realty Management leadership team, Heidi plays a vital role in the management of a large portfolio of retail, industrial, and office buildings.

For over 15 years, Heidi has been an invaluable member of our commercial property management division. She joined Black Realty Management in 2001, working in our Accounting Department. After demonstrating high proficiency in accounting and related lease administration, Heidi was promoted to Assistant Property Manager in 2007. In this role, she was involved in the management of Rock Pointe, a 4-building corporate center with a total of 564,000 square feet of space. By the first quarter of 2008, she quickly advanced to her current position as Commercial Property Manager where she handles a diverse portfolio of properties in the area.

Heidi is a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) and served as President of the local Chapter. She is currently working to obtain her Certified Property Manager (CPM®) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

Heidi lives in Liberty Lake with her husband and dachshund, Chester. Heidi and her husband just welcomed their first grandchild into the world this past March, and have been enjoying this exciting new chapter of their lives.

What we love most about Heidi is her strong work ethic and dedication to her clients. Her excellent understanding of administration of commercial leases is an enormous asset to our company. Thank you, Heidi, for all you do!

About Black Realty Management

Black Realty Management provides property management services for both commercial and multifamily properties. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Intern Spotlight: Tess Cory

We’d like to take a moment to recognize Tess Cory, who has been an intern at NAI Black since January. Tess is a student at Gonzaga University who will be graduating this spring semester. She brings excellent marketing, communications, and leadership skills to her work, and is always eager to learn about anything we throw her way.

We decided to ask Tess a couple questions about her experience as a student at Gonzaga University and an intern at NAI Black.

Tell us a little bit about your time at Gonzaga University?

At Gonzaga, you are surrounded by exceptional people. The community and faculty genuinely care about those who call the campus home. I started off as a freshman majoring in History and Music, but I am proud to graduate with a degree in Communications and Political Science, knowing how to craft messages effectively as well as think critically about any challenge.

The connections and friendships I have made at GU will last beyond my college years. My classes, projects, and activities on campus have made these four years go by far too quickly. Thank you, Gonzaga for an excellent education: Intellectually, civically, and socially. Gonzaga has opened many doors for me. I am prepared for any obstacle that the ‘real world’ has in store for me and am excited to venture out into the working world. I will always be proud to be a Zag!

Tell us about your experience as an intern at NAI Black?

At NAI Black I have learned so much about the commercial real estate industry. I worked with brokers and administrators, taking a hands-on approach to the different facets of the business including Excel spreadsheets of existing brokers’ holdings; researching and prospecting for investors; updating listings, flyers and broker overviews; reviewing and updating lease agreements; and compiling investment proposals and researching potential properties/tenants.

Seeing a project from start to finish and understanding the path to success has been an eye opening experience.  I see the demands of property management – construction and project management are integral to mitigating expectations of both owners and their clients. Brokers seek clients who will thrive in the spaces offered and clients look for brokers willing to work with them. Effective communication is essential to maintaining these relationships.

I have learned so much from the people at Black Commercial. My time here has made me very interested in pursuing a career in the commercial real estate industry and I am so grateful for my time here at NAI Black.

Thanks for being a part of our team here at NAI Black, Tess! We love the tenacity and enthusiasm you bring to your work each day, and we wish you the best of luck with your career in commercial real estate. We know you’ll do great!

About Black Commercial

Black Commercial, Inc. provides has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Apartment Spotlight: Cherry Bluff & Cherry Ridge Apartments

This month we are spotlighting the Cherry Bluff & Cherry Ridge Apartments located at 2405 North Cherry Street in Spokane Valley, Washington. These apartment homes are tucked away along a quiet street, yet are conveniently located for quick access to the freeway and nearby attractions including the Valley YMCA, Mirabeau Park, the Centennial Trail, and the Spokane Valley Mall.

At Cherry Bluff and Ridge, you can choose from a variety of modern living spaces designed to meet your every need, including 1, 2, and 3-bedroom floor plans. Each apartment includes a full-size washer and dryer, microwave, air conditioning, private patio or balcony, and covered parking. Our professional management and maintenance team are on-site for your convenience.

Apartment Features

  • Storage Space
  • Air Conditioning
  • Carport/Garage
  • Dishwasher
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Some units feature vaulted ceilings!

Community Features

  • 24-Hour Emergency Maintenance
  • Professional On-site Management
  • Close to YMCA, Centennial Trail, and Mirabeau Park
  • Easy Freeway Access
  • Close to Bus Route
  • Pets allowed with restrictions and pet fee
  • Dog areas available

To learn more about the Cherry Bluff and Cherry Ridge Apartments, please visit give us a call at 509-927-3628 or visit our website. Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and we are available evenings and weekends by appointment.

About Black Realty Management

Black Realty Management provides property management services for both multifamily and commercial properties. To learn more about the services we offer, please give us a call at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

Black Commercial Attends the Oregon SIOR Chapter Lunch & Learn Event in Portland

From left to right: Stuart Skaug, SIOR Chapter VP; Steve Willhite, SIOR Chapter President; Jeff K. Johnson, Black Commercial President; and Jon Jeffreys, Black Commercial Sales & Leasing Broker

Black Commercial President Jeff K. Johnson, SIOR and Sales and Leasing Broker Jon Jeffreys, SIOR attended the Oregon SIOR Chapter Lunch & Learn event this past Tuesday, April 5th at CBRE’s office in downtown Portland. The event provided an opportunity to sit down and have lunch with our SIOR peers, and learn a concentrated overview of the latest office, industrial, and capital market deals and trends from esteemed SIOR colleagues.

The lunch was well attended with approximately 28 SIORs from the Portland area participating, and informative presentations delivered by well-qualified speakers who presented on a variety of topics:

  • David Squire, SIOR, Executive Vice President/Managing Director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank who presented “Landlord/Tenant Perspectives Office Overview”
  • Tom Talbot, SIOR, Senior Vice President of Kidder Mathews who presented “Industrial Market Update”
  • Jerry Matson, SIOR, Vice President of Colliers International who presented “Industrial Market – The Future”
  • Buzz Ellis, SIOR, Managing Director of JLL who presented “The Year of Boom!”
  • Curt Arthur, SIOR, Managing Director of Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisors who presented “Central Oregon Update”

About SIOR

Founded in 1941, SIOR is the leading global professional office and industrial real estate association. SIOR has 48 chapters worldwide with more than 3,000 members who represent today’s most knowledgeable, experienced, and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists.

About NAI Black

Black Commercial has a long-standing reputation as the largest commercial brokerage company in Spokane, Washington. If you are interested in learning more about our brokerage and development services, please contact our office at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.

5 Steps to Boost the Curb Appeal of Your Commercial or Residential Property

The curb appeal of your property can have a great impact on how clients or tenants perceive your company and its attention to detail. So let’s make sure you make a good first impression. Here are five simple ways to enhance your commercial or residential property’s curb appeal.

Brighten up the landscaping.

The attention you pay your landscaping can make all the difference in your property’s exterior appearance. Regularly pick up any loose trash and yard debris, and mow your lawn and tend to plants, flowers, and trees. Consider bringing new life into your landscaping with seasonal flower arrangements. Place planters at doorways to add color to areas that are concrete or pavement to make your building more inviting.

Add a fresh coat of paint.

Often times, you don’t need to paint the entire building to transform the look and feel of your property. Simply painting the front door, trim, or shutters can make a world of difference. If you have experience painting, consider doing the job yourself to save money. Otherwise, hire a professional company to ensure the job is done well and in a timely manner.

Replace outdated light fixtures.

Updating outdated lighting will give your property a fresh and stylish appearance. When purchasing new fixtures, be sure to consider both the style of light and their function. You want to ensure light fixtures adequately light your property to make it safer. Also, consider using low electrical power bulbs, like LEDs or solar lights, to help cut costs on lighting. For more information about lighting, check out our blog post: Four Tips for a Successful Lighting Upgrade.

Upgrade signage and address numbers.

Having proper signage might be one of the most important steps in creating curb appeal. Without it, customers may have a difficult time locating your business or understanding what it is about. Make sure your signage looks aesthetically pleasing by incorporating good graphic design and strategically place for best visibility from the street. Also, if your property has old or faded address numbers on it, purchase some new numbers for a quick way to spruce up your property. Look for a modern design made from stainless steel, brass, or aluminum, or try to match numbers with the finish of your exterior light fixtures.

Create places to sit and walk.

Your property should be somewhere people want to be – whether it’s someplace they work, live, or shop. Incorporating features like patios, sitting areas, and walkways will help people have a good experience while at your commercial or residential property. Consider adding a bistro table with a couple chairs, or a picnic bench surrounded by landscaping. Add walkways to help identify main entrances, crosswalks, and other areas of interest.

About NAI Black

NAI Black, licensed as Black Realty Management, provides property management services for both commercial and multifamily properties. To learn more about the services we offer, please give us a call at 509-623-1000 or visit our website.