Proposed road could key Riverstone development

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COEUR d'ALENE - All roads lead to Riverstone.

Not quite, but a proposed road extension in Riverstone West could key future development there, including an affordable housing complex and a permanent transit center for Citylink.

First, a road is needed.

Coeur d'Alene's urban renewal agency agreed Wednesday to help make that happen.

"This will give it a permanent home there," said Mike Craven, SRM Development manager, on the transit provider finding a future hub with 12 bus stalls and 160 parking spots.

The $1.9 million road will extend 1,700 lineal feet of John Loop Road through the 11 western lots and connect to Riverstone Drive.

Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization is attempting to help put the hub on the north section of the western plot's 21 acres. On the southern end will be an affordable housing complex that will share the road, set to begin construction in March.

That project is being developed by Whitewater Creek Inc., and will be a 50-unit complex called the Riverstone West Family Apartments on a 4-acre plot to the west of Riverstone Park.

It will be a roughly $7 million project targeting qualified families earning between 40 to 50 percent of the area median income - around $15,960 to $30,000 a year.

Those monthly rents break down to $360 to $640 for one, two and three bedroom units. To make the project a go, the Hayden company earned $5.3 million in tax credits through city, LCDC, state and federal partnerships.

LCDC offered both Riverstone West owners and Whitewater Creek owner participation agreements - $1.5 million and $395,000 respectively - which means the developers front the money for the road, and the agency pays them back though property tax monies their projects generate over time.

The affordable housing should generate $42,000 in property taxes per year, owner Todd Prescott said.

Office space is also set to go in the Riverstone West site, with an FBI office looking to locate there, Craven said.

Details finalizing a transit hub still need to be worked out, he added, but development opportunities have picked up over the last year.

"We see the market firming up," he said.

The OPAs were approved preliminarily. Contract details will have to be crunched and both developers would have to come back to the board for final approval.

Meanwhile, Whitewater Creek is also working on an affordable unit complex for seniors off Seltice Way, the $6.5 million Mill River project that is under construction and set to be completed this summer.

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