Riverstone West Apartments filling up fast

Demand for affordable rentals spurred construction of facility

SHAWN GUST/Press Tony Retano, 24, discusses his experience living in the recently opened Riverstone West Apartments in Coeur d'Alene.

COEUR d'ALENE - Subsidized housing has landed in Riverstone.

Riverstone West Family Apartments, a 50-unit complex geared for qualified families earning between 40 to 50 percent of the area median income, is around halfway filled after opening last month.

Built by Hayden-based Whitewater Creek Inc. last year using public partnerships for tax credits, the roughly $7 million multi-colored complex sits on 4 acres just west of Riverstone Park, and adjacent to the Centennial Trial.

Half or less of the median income equates to earning between $16,000 to $30,000 a year, according to the developers last year as they were preparing their tax credit application with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.

"It actually helped out a lot," said tenant Tony Retano, 24, a North Idaho College student who works at Super Supplements and moved into an apartment shortly after the complex opened. "Other than that I wouldn't be able to afford a place of my own."

Management at 2238 W. John Loop said Tuesday that roughly 50 to 60 percent of the units have already filled.

An added bonus, Retano said, is the location - tucked away on the western side of the multi-use development that has its share of high-end condos.

Riverstone has seen an increase of construction recently, including Riverstone West Apartments, after experiencing little growth as the recession hit.

"It can only go up from where it's at," Retano said.

Rents, according to advertisements, range from $475-$625 for 1-bedroom, $564 -$700 for 2-bedroom units and $647-$800 for 3-bedrooms.

A pent-up demand for affordable rentals spurred the Hayden company to build it, company officials said last year.

IFHA awarded Whitewater creek roughly $5.3 million in tax credits after the Hayden company secured local, state and federal partnerships to help the project happen, including from the city of Coeur d'Alene and its urban renewal agency Lake City Development Corp.

Whitewater Creek did not respond for comment Tuesday.

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