COEUR d’ALENE — A construction crane erected early this week towers 214 feet over First Street and Lakeside Avenue in downtown Coeur d'Alene.
It's a sight downtown residents and visitors will be seeing as One Lakeside is being built. The $20 million, 15-floor condominium complex is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2020. The crane is expected to be on site for at least the next 10 months of construction.
"It’s a very tough site. There's not much room, it's very confined," site superintendent Kent Hueser, of UPA Construction Group, said Wednesday. "Today was a big day because our tower crane went up so that will help things out."
He said so far construction is "not without its challenges, but it seems to be going OK."
Just north of the future high-rise, One Lakeside is on the lips of many of the residents in Coeur d'Alene North. The condominium community is keeping watch daily, interacting with construction workers and acclimating to their disappearing lake views.
"We knew when we bought that it was going to happen. There's no surprises for us," said Nola Hawley, a longtime Coeur d'Alene resident who moved into Coeur d'Alene North with husband Mike in March. "We like it here and we’re going to have to adjust."
One Lakeside has already had its share of challenges. It was opposed in 2013, a year after proposal, by attorneys representing Coeur d'Alene North property owners, who filed against One Lakeside LLC and the city in Coeur d'Alene's First District Court.
The property owners argued the proposed then-14-story, 84-unit structure would block views of Tubbs Hill, City Park, the lake and downtown. They also accused the city of not adhering to a review process, but the court ruled the accusation erroneous and that the city had followed its own rules when the project was approved. The city denied an appeal by the homeowners to review the project again.
The lawsuit was dismissed two months later, but not the worries of the Coeur d'Alene North residents who are concerned about not just the views but property values decreasing.
"I'm not really angry, but some of the people will be," said Pat Tiede, who moved onto the fourth floor a year ago. "What they're doing is short-term and long-term rentals. I hope our economy can handle it."
Tiede said she feels One Lakeside doesn’t mesh with its surroundings.
"It's a very ambitious project on a very small postage stamp lot," she said. "It's out of place for this end of the town. It should be where the other high-rises are — McEuen, Parkside. They're at the other end of town. That makes more sense."
She said although she enjoys city life and understands progress happens, she knows there are those who don't like the changes that are coming to the Lake City.
"I think developers rape the land. It's all about money. They don't care about aesthetics. My daughter has lived here in Idaho. She likes the serenity of what it was," Tiede said. "The people that grant the zoning need to have a little bit more of a long-range goal … Pretty soon Coeur d'Alene will be like all the little towns in Colorado like Vail."
The Hawleys on the fifth floor will be losing half their view but will still be able to see a little to the southwest.
"We talked it over and decided to buy anyway," Nola said. "We don't like to see all the high-rises but we can't say much because now we live in one. The location was the priority."