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Spokane property owners face string of break-ins amid coronavirus shutdown

Spokane Police have responded to three separate break-ins at the new South Hill complex since work on the building stopped.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Property owners are trying to figure out how they can keep their real estate safe during the coronavirus closures.

When the stay at home order went into place it was an unfortunate reality for projects like the Thirty First Place Apartments. The new South Hill complex was projected to open in July but now things aren’t looking so clear.

Over the last week the project has been stalled and trespassers have been added to a list of worries the owners already had.

“We literally had to board up openings on the first floor to make sure that people couldn’t get in,” said Chris Bornhoft who’s head of commercial real estate with Windermere Manito Real Estate.

Spokane Police have responded to three separate break ins at the complex since work on the building stopped. Video surveillance is located on the site and the next installment was going to be electricity.

More light would reduce trespassers from crossing over the fence, but doing that isn’t considered essential business at the moment.

“The situation is we want more of a clarification,” explained realtor Marianne Bornhort. “We just want to make sure that we don’t have spoilage, that we can finish the sighting so we can get the electrical on site.”

Under Governor Jay Inslee's stay home order, commercial and residential construction was marked as non-essential.

If the shutdown lasts longer than the two weeks it’s set for,  property owners like the Bornhofts have to figure out how they’ll weather through this hiatus..

“The issue is that our contractors don’t want to come to work,” Chris said. “They’re afraid of the ramifications. They’ve heard there’s going to be fines dished out, potential arrest made and they’re just worried about the effect that’s going to have on their business.”

While they wait the situation out, they've reached out to the governor for clarity on the guidelines and are waiting to hear back.

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