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Nice site, low price

by Tom Hasslinger
| November 13, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - A Hayden company has its eye on building an affordable housing complex in Riverstone.

The 50-unit development, called the Riverstone West Family Apartments, would be on a 4-acre plot to the west of Riverstone Park.

It would include 39 affordable units for qualified renters with incomes below the median area income level, and 10 units would be rented at market value. One would be the manager's unit.

The project is possible after the developer, Whitewater Creek Inc., was awarded an annual tax credit of $602,077 for 10 years from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, as well as a $575,000 home loan, according to Katrina Thompson, IFHA spokeswoman.

The credit is expected to generate around $4.6 million in equity toward the construction of the project, she said.

The application was accepted in large part because of the partnerships the project secured, including pledges of financial support from the city of Coeur d'Alene and its urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp.

"This is great for North Idaho to bring federal tax credit here to build affordable, rental housing," said LCDC Director Tony Berns.

"There is a pent up demand for affordable apartment rentals," he said.

Whitewater Creek could not be reached for comment on the total cost of the project, construction timeline, or to what specific income levels the affordable units would target.

The company recently partnered with the IFHA, the city of Coeur d'Alene and LCDC for tax credits for a similar affordable unit project for seniors being built in Mill River north of Seltice Way across from the US Bank Call Center. Those units target people 55 and older with fixed income levels ranging between $15,000 and $27,000.

IFHA said it reached a reservation agreement with Whitewater Creek for the tax credits associated with the Riverstone project, but is waiting to hear about development details before finalizing the deal, Thompson said.

For the Riverstone project, LCDC wrote a letter pledging up to $395,000 in tax increment financing in September for public improvements associated with the project. Whitewater could come to the board in January with its official request, Berns said. LCDC agreed to $326,000 in tax increment financing for the $6.5 million Mill River project.

Coeur d'Alene issued a similar non-binding agreement for the new project that outlined potential funding options up to $10,000, said Renata McLeod, city project coordinator.

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