#18 Fairfield, Washington

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Metro Spokane Places to Live

2020 population: 622
Drive time to downtown Coeur d’Alene: 45 minutes
Drive time to downtown Spokane: 40 minutes

Farm towns in the Spokane Metro
Fairfield is the largest farm town in southern Spokane County.

Overall Character: ★★★★☆
Urban: ☆☆☆☆☆
Suburban: ☆☆☆☆☆
Walkability: ★★★★☆
Market Activity: ★☆☆☆☆
Farm Town: ★★★★★
Timber Town: ☆☆☆☆☆
Lake / River Town: ☆☆☆☆☆

Fairfield Community Description

Fairfield is like out of a novel cited by a 7th grade teacher in Brooklyn while she explains to her students what small town Americana is like during geography class.

Despite it only having 622 souls within city limits, it’s the largest of southern Spokane County’s farm towns, which means it also has the most amenities and the largest neighborhoods. Quaint, quiet tree-lined streets await you in Fairfield, alongside a relatively healthy main street and all the farm town character one expects when envisioning such things. If you’re into small town, country living, Fairfield is for you.

Interestingly, Fairfield has a distinguishing asset most other small towns on this list don't. Fairfield's main street is not a state highway. The city can, therefore, do what it wants with it because the state doesn't own the road. This represents Fairfield's greatest opportunity for improvement. The image above of downtown Fairfield is pleasant, but needs help. Reinventing the public realm in downtown Fairfield strikes me as a good strategy to improve livability and demonstrate that even small farm towns have the ability to compete for investment within the metro Spokane marketplace.

Because it's about 40 quick minutes to downtown Spokane (as well as downtown Coeur d'Alene), Fairfield is poised to position itself as a bedroom community with its wholesome, farm town feel being its primary asset. The way metro Spokane is booming, it's only a matter of time before a real estate developer figures out the same thing.

Investing in main street is always a good idea for small towns. In Fairfield's case, they could leverage their asset of local control into market dominion. Indeed, Fairfield has an ace in its pocket.

Downtown Fairfield is the healthiest among Spokane County farm towns. (Photo courtesy of Richard Bauer)

(Featured image courtesy of LibertyLakeAnne)

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