PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Foundation has signed a 15-year lease with Duane Brelsford Jr. and Duane Brelsford Sr. of Town Centre LLC that begins work on the $3 million Town Centre Project.

The WSU Foundation will occupy half of the second floor and the entire third floor of the three-story brick building to be built on the southwest corner of Main and Kamiaken streets in downtown Pullman. The remaining space will be available for other tenants.

“We are thrilled that the project will become a reality,” Greg Sheridan, associate vice president of University Development said. “The relocation to downtown Pullman helps consolidate the foundation’s workforce and gives us a visible presence from which to raise private support for the university’s strategic priorities.”

Greg Royer, vice president for WSU Business Affairs, said the city, the real estate developers and other downtown businesses worked together to make the project work. “Local businesses were very vocal in their support for the project,” Royer said. “City officials solved parking issues, and the developer worked long and hard to plan the building in order to meet our needs.”

“We see this project as a positive step for WSU and the community. It demonstrates what good things can be done when the university and the community work together. We hope it will give Pullman an economic boost,” Royer said.

Community business leaders believe the project is the start of revitalization for the community.

“The project provides a good anchor for the growth of new business for Pullman,” said Fritz Hughes, Pullman Chamber of Commerce executive director. “We appreciate the efforts of the Brelsfords and WSU.”

Pullman Mayor Mitch Chandler called the project exciting.

“The joint energy of the private sector and WSU to move forward to revitalize Pullman is a example of the cooperative efforts underway here,” said Chandler, owner of Neill’s Flowers and Gifts, a downtown business.

The 28,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art building will be home to more than 45 members of the WSU Foundation staff, offering the organization the chance to have most of its staff in one location.

“The foundation, the university and Pullman community leadership are making the revitalization of the downtown core a priority because it helps us recruit students, faculty and staff and makes our community a more dynamic place to reside and do business,” WSU President V. Lane Rawlins said.

Brelsford Jr. said he was excited that the last eight months of planning will come to fruition. “This is an investment in the community. We are coming together to make this project happen and this collective effort will make it successful.”

The new building will be built on the site where an October 2000 fire destroyed Pullman’s oldest building. It was constructed in 1890 and was home to several businesses, including the Corner Drug Store.

The Brelsfords have a negotiated contract with Brown Contracting and Development of Spokane for construction of the building and Design West Architects of Pullman as the architect. Following the permit process, foundation construction is expected to begin in March. The building should be completed in November 2002.