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Massive development planned for prairie

by MADISON HARDY
Staff Writer | September 25, 2020 1:00 AM

KOOTENAI COUNTY — A regional investment company plans to develop over 5,000 new residences in the Coeur d'Alene-Post Falls area.

Lakeside Capital Group LLC, which includes Kootenai County Land Co. and Architerra Homes, is a Coeur d'Alene investment company that owns and manages assets throughout Idaho and Washington.

Under the Kootenai County Land Co. branch, the company has acquired more than 1,000 acres over the past two decades. Snatching up 1,050 acres of unincorporated Kootenai County land in 2019, the company plans to establish the Coeur Terra development of over 4,500 residences north of I-90, south of Poleline Avenue on both sides of Huetter Road.

The Coeur Terra web page describes the future community as offering a range of properties, including "large custom view sites to more quaint footprint homes offering affordability and urban style living." While the big picture may look idyllic, it will take a lot more work than the average subdivision.

"It could easily take 20 years for a build-out on this project," Post Falls community development director Robert Seale said. "It's 1,000 acres, so it's not like they are going to turn around and bust it out in 5 years."

To Seale, the development seems to aim for standard single-family housing development with a small percentage of multi-family housing. Considering the 4,500 properties and an average of 2.5 people per household, that development alone could hold over 11,250 residents.

Due to its location on Huetter, the property is within Coeur d'Alene's and Post Falls' Area of City Impact Agreements, so it's up for grabs as the two cities expand. The Coeur Terra website indicates that Kootenai County Land Co. is already having annexation discussions with the cities.

"I know that they've looked at keeping the property in both Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls and they've looked at developing in one or the other," Seale said. "I think a lot of it is going to come down to infrastructure services like the sewer service, and that depends on the topography and the landscape and how the master plan looks."

Seale said the company has yet to submit paperwork with Post Falls and has met with city employees just twice over the last year. The annexation process will be complicated, Seale said, depending on the developer's work with the two cities and their services like water, sewer, school districts and public safety officials.

The property is designated as suburban agricultural land. Kootenai County's community development director, David Callahan, said it has been used as such for at least a decade.

"When you look at these real estate holdings, it looks like they've been buying up these parcels for over a decade because you don't get these parcels overnight," Callahan said. "They are most likely playing Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls off of one another to get the best deal based on what develops where."

Online concept designs for the massive area include many eye-catching features, including several creeks, trails, casting ponds, events, free play lawns, children's playgrounds, and picnic tables with barbecues, dog parks and community gardens.

To further fill the 1,050 acres, a set of recreational buildings and swimming pools, baseball and soccer fields, and a handful of courts for tennis, basketball, pickleball and bocce ball are part of the master plan.

Lakeside Capital Group LLC and its branches are also planning to build the residential community Parkllyn in Post Falls and extend The Trails Subdivision with a private organization called The Enclave.

Architerra Homes will head the Parkllyn development east of their Foxtail community in between Poleline and Prairie Avenue in Post Falls. The online description of Parkllyn said the subdivision will offer an array of homes on private and public roads that range from "efficient and compact layouts to larger floor plans with spacious lots to accommodate shops."

Parkllyn would potentially include 400 lots next to the newly opened Prairie View Elementary School and have a handful of park areas, trail connectivity, and neighborhood gathering spots, according to the website.

In addition to the existing The Trails subdivision, which houses over 450 residential units in Coeur d'Alene, The Enclave will create an 85-lot gated community adjacent to the Prairie Trail.

Lakeside Capital Group LLC and its branches are also responsible for the Woodbridge South, Foxtail, Reserve and Trails communities. Seale said the company has averaged building about 100 homes a year in Post Falls and expressed that they plan to continue this trend.

Post Falls, which has grown by more than 35 percent in the last decade, is already under pressure to build more housing to accommodate its increasing population. Building 903 residential units through the Tullamore development, 650 in Crown Pointe, and 186 units through Lakeside LLC's own Woodbridge South community, Post Falls is seeing new houses built as fast as possible, city planning manager Jonathon Manley said.

Coeur d'Alene is also growing rapidly, reporting 20% growth in the last decade. In addition to small family homes popping up around the city, three high-rise buildings could be in Coeur d'Alene's future through Hagadone Hospitality Co. These structures alone would create up to 275 apartments, condominiums and hotel rooms on the east side of Coeur d'Alene over the next decade.

"If you look at any statistics, there is a real estate up-trend every seven to 10 years. It's a seller's market where people moving here are spending more money on these properties than ever before," Callahan said. "To me, what you are seeing is the inevitable growth of cities that will continue until we get to be the size of Spokane. In the meantime, cities are going to grow and pull together all the land available to make the city viable."

Representatives of Lakeside LLC and Kootenai County Land Co. were not available for comment on the developments Thursday.