Wiggett Building has new owner

A restaurant, offices, apartments are being considered

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COEUR d'ALENE - After several years of sitting empty and on the market, the Wiggett Building at 117 N. Fourth St. has a new owner. A San Diego man purchased the building and several others in North Idaho, including a home at Echo Bay in Harrison.

Peter Deering formed Echo Bay Estates LLC, an Idaho corporation listed as owner of the building.

"That is good news, because we'll see some activity," said Rich McKernan, who listed the building for owner Steve Groner, of Santa Barbara and Coeur d'Alene. "He will put some money into it."

The two-story building with a basement and additional sub-floors on .316 of an acre was originally listed for $3.4 million, and the principals of the proposed and rejected Chateau de Loire project on the east side of Lake Coeur d'Alene dropped out of a purchase agreement in 2006, when the property was listed for $3.5 million.

It has been empty since the former Wiggett's Antique Mall was moved a block south because of the pending deal.

The price was later reduced to $2.5 million, McKernan said.

"The market dropped, and (Groner) settled for substantially less," he said.

The Chateau developers had planned to renovate the building into a French restaurant and offices.

The new owner's prospects are being analyzed, with an eye to possibilities including office and retail space and residential lofts, McKernan said.

Deering could not be reached for comment.

A wooden bear from Cisco's, a block up the street, is on display in the window holding a sign reading "Bear with us. Renovation coming."

Sam Kennedy, owner of Cisco's, said Deering is a customer of the shop and owns a brewery in another city.

Architect Mike Patano said Deering is in no rush, but is looking at ideas that will work with the historical nature of the red brick building with wood floors and other architectural themes from the turn of the century.

"A brewery is one of the things he's looking at," Patano said. "The more diverse the use, the more chances of success."

A restaurant, offices and apartments are also being considered.

"There isn't anything that is off the table," Patano said. "We will take our time studying the opportunities and getting insights on what would be successful."

The building and land is assessed by Kootenai County at $780,826.

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