Highrise returns, with changes - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Highrise returns, with changes

Developers will present draft at Cd'A City Hall Thursday at noon

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - After considering feedback from city planners and concerned neighbors, the Colorado developers proposing to build a highrise apartment complex in downtown Coeur d'Alene are ready to unveil their latest proposal.

In a nutshell, the retail and residential building pitched for First Street and Lakeside Avenue calls for a skinnier, taller version from the original concept.

"We tried to deal with their concerns the best we could," said Greg Hills, principal of real estate development firm Austin Lawrence Partners, out of Aspen, Colo., on neighborhood feedback dealing with the proposed project. "We do know we're affecting the views there, we're just trying to make it as attractive as we can."

The new proposal pushes the lower level massing away from its northern neighbor, Coeur d'Alene North condos. It added two stories, going from 12 to 14. The taller, slimmer design shouldn't block views as drastically as the previous design, according to the city's Design Review Commission. The commission, along with several neighbors, recommended the changes when the sides met in August for the first of three meetings between staff and developers.

"The intent of the recommendation was to mitigate view corridor concerns for adjacent properties and provide more spacing between buildings," staff reports state.

With the change, the building's height would go from 153 feet to 173 feet. Codes allow buildings downtown to reach 220 feet. The 60-unit luxury apartments, estimated to be a $20 million project, would have retail shops on the ground level. The updated plan calls for a street-scaped front.

The company has said it wants to break ground on a 125,000-square-foot project at 201 N. First St., commonly known as the Mudge Building, in the spring. Before it can, developers must receive approval from the city's Design Review Commission ensuring the project adheres to building guidelines.

The developers will present their draft at noon Thursday in the Old Council Chambers at Coeur d'Alene City Hall, 710 E. Mullan Ave. Included in the presentation will be a conceptual drawing of how the building would look viewed from Lake Coeur d'Alene, as part of the skyline, something Hills said the developers strongly considered. He said after the August meeting his team met with several neighbors individually to address concerns.

The proposal has drawn concern from neighbors who live in nearby homes and condos. Traffic congestion and obstruction of their own lake views were two of their primary concerns. Along with a blocked view comes a decreased property value, they said. Attorney Scott Reed said in August the proposal would go against regulations established to protect property rights by causing an economic loss for existing neighbors "in excess of a million dollars," and said he was prepared to take the issue to court.

Reed couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

After Thursday's presentation, the commission will tell the developers what they should or shouldn't tweak with the plan. If the design meets building criteria, the commission cannot deny the application. If the commission approves the design, the applicants, called One Lakeside LLC., would then apply for building permits.

"We think we've made a real serious effort to try and accommodate (the suggestions) as best we can," Hills said. "We're trying to be sensitive, that's for sure."

Public comment will be allowed at the meeting.

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  • local res posted at 9:40 pm on Sun, Oct 7, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    When Butler was here we didnt have all the out of townees building towers.

  • local res posted at 9:37 pm on Sun, Oct 7, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    you can do whatever on your property until it affects your neighbor.

  • local res posted at 9:36 pm on Sun, Oct 7, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    actually I believe the courts will rule for the existing property owners for loss of view and sunlight.

  • local res posted at 9:33 pm on Sun, Oct 7, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    Her Honor must love this project

  • concernedcitizen posted at 7:35 am on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530


    The locals are the ones selling it. Place blame where it id due.

  • Xacto11 posted at 7:50 am on Fri, Oct 5, 2012.

    Xacto11 Posts: 19

    I will never understand the thought process. People discover Coeur d'Alene, fall in love with its small town charm and beautiful vistas, and then proceed to turn it into the very places they were trying to escape. C'mon, people, if you love condos and hi-rises stacked along the water's edge, elaborate parks and underground parking garages, Seattle is only a 5 hour drive from here. Progress and renovation is a wonderful thing, but certainly it can be done without killing the essence of what defines a place like Coeur d'Alene.

    "What a lovely little town, a dozen condo towers looming over the lake would make it perfect...."

  • heatherfeather posted at 10:21 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    heatherfeather Posts: 297

    Towers, towers, and MORE towers! In ten years, there will be ten more towers. Tall towers, short towers, skinny towers...TOWERS! Chock full of TOWER PEOPLE with deep pockets.

    I don't mind. We are a city now. If you don't like it, buy a house on 10 acres or a house in Mullan (they are cheap now that the mines are closed...not for long!) I would rather see the mountains left pristine and the views in downtown towers than mega-mansions on every hillside.

    The times they are a-changing. Your old road is rapidly aging.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 5:51 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Mountain West, Mountain West, where have I heard that before? OH YEAH! Any connection to the LCDC? ;-)

  • LONEWOLFMP posted at 9:57 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    LONEWOLFMP Posts: 46

    Dang....Should have looked at the address...I was thinking it was going in where that triangular building is...

    So there goes my favorite place to park when going downtown...oh well

  • 1voice posted at 8:05 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    1voice Posts: 56

    Read my remarks above.

  • 1voice posted at 8:03 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    1voice Posts: 56

    Shame on the board of directors of Mountain West Bank for forcing the sale of this plum piece of property and for other actions in progress against the former owners. They were good stewards of this bit of real estate and (ironically) among the original investors of Mountain West Bank. This issue would not be on the table today but for that. The former owners have always been A-1 people, financially and morally, and did not deserve this action, especially when r/e markets are barely on the cusp of recovery.

  • 1voice posted at 7:57 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    1voice Posts: 56

    You can all thank Mountain West Bank for this issue of a highrise where the Mudge building stands. They forced the sale of this property, and now it is in hands of investors who, breathtakingly fast, came up with their plan. The former owners, who were good stewards of the property, were (ironically) among the original investors in that bank when it first came into being. The former owners have always been A-1 people, financially and morally, and have donated generously to this community for decades, yet were forced not only to sell this plum piece of property, but to do so when real estate markets are just on the cusp of a major recovery. Shame on the board of directors of Mountain West Bank for this action and those others in progress!

  • chouli posted at 9:28 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1294

    as my son so aptly stated, the high rises are human beehives!!

  • chouli posted at 9:25 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1294

    it'll be a cold day in **** before I patronize the businesses int he parkside condo towers and the same for the proposed tower. hope those develpoers lose their shirts...

  • chouli posted at 9:23 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1294

    no, get used to it is not the objective.
    change the existing codes is the next objective

  • chouli posted at 9:18 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1294

    how do we change the codes to limit the size and height od downtown buildings? allowing a building to be 220 feet is way too much. why not keep our downtown quaint rather than ugly view blocking highrises everywhere. why can't we understand that less equal more???
    follow the money folks, and bow down to it while you're at it...

  • concernedcitizen posted at 8:42 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Blame those from other states all you wish. None of it would be possible without the local sellouts

  • Cody Wiench posted at 8:11 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Cody Wiench Posts: 355

    How is building a tower a liberal idea? Is the government funding this in any way? A developer is proposing to use their own money to build something (presumably to make money). I just don't follow your thought process as to how building towers is a liberal idea. Do you know what the definition of 'liberal' is?

  • estatetracker posted at 7:47 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    estatetracker Posts: 373

    I learned along time ago that it doesn't matter if its John Buetler or Richard Butler when it comes to the approal or denial of development proposals. The only thing that matters is whether or not the proposal complies with already adopted rules; not what some wish the rules said after application has been made.

    It is an unfortunate state for those who are most vocal against (most) development that those same folks are usually the most uninformed as to what the rules allow or prohibit. No where in this post has a single person raised a single, even alledged violation of zoning or any othe development regulation for what is being proposed.

    Not even has legal counsel raised a non-compliance issue, rather, all he (Scott Reed) has hung his hat on is that his clients will get a differant view--a view that he alone has assigned a monetary view if altered.

    The underlying issue here is with the rules that regulate development and the fact that so few understand the practical application of those rules until a development is smack-dab next door.

    Land use regulations are difficult to envision in the theoretical sense, but when a project is proposed and that project complies with Code--it is too late, except for the opposition. Not even the best team of attorneys can stop a project that complies with Code--it is a waste of time, money, and energy that could better be used to change the rules before the next contentious development comes a knocking.

  • mister d posted at 6:26 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Of course I hate all of the high rises in CDA and believe they have ruined the beauty this city once had. CDA is just another town by a lake, nothing special anymore, hasn't been for a long time in my opinion. In saying that, I doubt if this building is going to hurst anything more than all of the other high rises have. This project should be good to go or else tear them all down. Would love to see the CDA North Condos torn down and the beautiful grass put back in that used to grace that corner.

  • mister d posted at 6:19 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    But Joe, I thought you always supported private property rights. Does that change when you don't agree with it?

  • JoeIdaho posted at 5:48 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Those of you that are for this are hypocrites....

    IN Kootenai County, you, as voters, ALLOW the government to deem the zoning & allowable types of property, more than ANY other county in North idaho. For this county, it's all about "maintaining the character of the surrounding area; including wildlife, etc, etc".
    And that's all fine with the left wing, (which MOST of you are that are FOR the "project", JUST LIKE with McKuen).
    BUT, when you try to keep the downtown of Coeurd'alene in IT'S character; which is NOT high rise buildings, instead older, character FULL homes & buildings, well, that's not okay, it's FINE to change the character of the area.

    Soooo.....if you live in the woods, and want to build something, make SURE it keeps the woods "in character".
    BUT; if you live in the city, and want to make downtown CDA look like Seattle, now that's FINE.

    That, Ladies, is what is called "hypocritical".

    This direction is FULLY changing Coeurd'alene, and no, I wasn't for anything Hagadone did either,but the choice & direction is simple; Coeurd'alene is quickly losing it's old town charm, with OUT buildings that make it look like Vail, to developers & LIBERALS who LIKE high rise buildings, because then people get stacked like sardines, JUST LIKE in the big cities.

    CDA isn't supposed to look like Reno, and that's what makes it special.

    You libs can't have it both ways; "don't cut down the tree because it's not in character" and then "build a skyscraper within 300 feet of a residential home that has enjoyed SUNLIGHT for the past 60 years becasue it's in character".

  • heatherfeather posted at 5:29 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    heatherfeather Posts: 297

    It's an attractive building. We have friends in Seattle who live in a tower. They have a view of Elliott Bay and several other towers. I think the other towers enhance their view.

    This building is a litmus test on downtown development, as it is about as dense as highrises are allowed (considering proximity to CDA North and Lake Tower). Get used to it folks, we have entered the Tower Era...

  • Screen Name posted at 12:56 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Screen Name Posts: 968

    Have I been transported to an alternate universe?

    In this not Northern Idaho, the bastion of liberty and free property rights to be unencumbered by government regulation? Is this not where I can do whatever I want on my property so long as it is legal and no one has any right to say otherwise?

    This is private property upon which a private company intends to construct a building within the constraints of the zoning and building codes.

    What right do any of you have to complain about it? There is no guarantee that your view will be preserved unless you purchase the land in front of you.

    If you did not see the possibility that someday a tall building might be constructed in front of you - then you are short sighted (pun intended).

  • Cody Wiench posted at 12:49 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Cody Wiench Posts: 355

    If a person is against this project, they are literally a moron. If someone wants to build a multi million dollar building on their land, they ought to be allowed to. The people who live in the view path don't have a right to a 'view'. They probably think the are entitled to a view. Our economy could use something like this. I just hope the idiot NIMBY crowd doesn't hamper this project.

  • LONEWOLFMP posted at 12:11 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    LONEWOLFMP Posts: 46

    Wow....if I lived in those existing condos I would be pissed off... So by making it slimmer people would still have views of the lake? Think the folks who said that are the same folk that built the hotels in Maui....If I lean over the railing and look between the other buildings I can see the ocean in my ocean view suite...

  • Twin Lakes Redneck posted at 11:56 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Twin Lakes Redneck Posts: 131

    eleven20...i totally agree, to my knowledge this is a privately funded project on private property that falls within the existing building codes, I welcome the work and investment in the area.....the rest of you should stopo tramping on peoples freedoms and rights! dont like it? by the lot yourself and plant a garden!

  • spudman1 posted at 11:35 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    spudman1 Posts: 494

    Isn't there a difference between private money projects and taxpayers money? If people want to be and are willing to pay for being stacked like sardines isn't that their business? Don't we need jobs in North Idaho and more people downtown to spend their money? How about the increased tax base for the city? Ugly monstrosity? Sounds like some liberal democrat living in a shack on food stamps. Oh well, at least they are eating good. Keep that class warfare coming. It's so, you know, American.

  • SamuelStanding posted at 11:34 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    SamuelStanding Posts: 611

    :...we're just trying to make it as attractive as we can." Meaning, we are going to build our darn building, like it or not! It will be tall, it is going to block views...We have already purchased the property (and in my opinion the permission of the current city council and mayor) to do what we want! So get lost!

    CDA is going the wrong direction and as stated by JoeIdaho, Californians seem to be driving the mess!

    The lake front will look HORRIBLE and there will be an overdone space (McEuen Park) with all sorts of circus acts performing. The Mayor and her City Council pets (again my opinion) will need a retirement pension and the Circus (McEuen Park) will provide them with the laughs they need for sometime (laughs at the expense and lose for the citizens of this town).

  • Jullee posted at 11:14 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Jullee Posts: 566

    So sad that the city ever let anyone start building the high rises that exist today.
    We are turning into High Rise City - ANY WHERE USA . What a shame. What a loss.

  • Rationale posted at 9:52 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1976

    And that high rise is just as ugly a monstrosity.

  • Twin Lakes Redneck posted at 9:31 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Twin Lakes Redneck Posts: 131

    @ meidaho----hahahaha...."Please don't block our existing view of the lake"....hahahaha....didnt the building you live in block someone elses view???

  • eleven20 posted at 8:59 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    eleven20 Posts: 142

    ...I think many of you are a bunch of hypocrates. There is a "luxury high rise apartment building" (actually 2 of them) that are within blocks of this building....oh wait..they are owned by Hagadone so it must be okay. I am in support of this project - the old, cheap, delapidated concrete block buildng that is on that site is an embarassment to the community....this is a far beeter use for that location and will create jobs, bring people to the downtown area which will in tur support the local businesses.... Right now we all need a little job growth and business support in North Idaho....

  • Rationale posted at 8:22 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1976

    I guess I'm the only one who thinks it's an ugly monstrosity.

    Of course, I've never understood the moronic thought process that considers stacking people like sardines on top of each other as intelligent or normal.

  • DeNiles posted at 6:37 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    They will starve you to death and then dance on your body. The citizens of CdA simply do not matter.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 6:34 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Thank you to Mayor Bloehm, and the SO CALLED Republicans in the City of CDA.
    This is just another debacle, just like McKuen, that shouldn't happen, excepting the fact that we have peiople in charge of this little town who are "progressive", which is a code word for "transplanted Californian".

  • straight up posted at 5:07 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    straight up Posts: 965


    It's all part of the LCDC Master Plan and carried out through their puppet mayor.

    "Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people ("gentry") acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities.[1] Urban gentrification is associated with migration within a population. In a community undergoing gentrification, the average income increases and average family size decreases. This generally results in the displacement of the poorer, pre-gentrification residents, who are unable to pay increased rents or house prices and property taxes. Often old industrial buildings are converted to residences and shops. In addition, new businesses, catering to a more affluent base of consumers and those that can afford increased commercial rent, move in, further increasing the appeal to more affluent migrants and decreasing the accessibility to the poor.

    Urban gentrification occasionally changes the culturally heterogeneous character of a community or neighborhood to a more economically homogeneous community that some describe as having a suburban character.[2] (INSERT LCDC HERE) This process is sometimes made feasible by government-promoted private real estate investment repairing the local infrastructure. This is done through deferred taxes, mortgages for poor and for first-time house-buyers and financial incentives for the owners of decayed rental housing.[3] Once in place, these economic development actions tend to reduce local property crime, increase property values and prices, and increase tax revenues."

    CDA has been permanently altered and people better get used to it. The "people" will never re-gain control of the city, so just roll over and accept whatever is going to be done to you. You are owned by LCDC.

  • meidaho posted at 4:33 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    meidaho Posts: 254

    And how many lawsuits would there be if another company wanted to build another highrise apartment complex and put it between the lake and the building in this article?
    Well what about this building and everybody behind it?
    Please don't block our existing view of the lake. This building needs to be shoved up the rear of Greg Hills and let him discover what it is like to have an obstruction between him and the water!

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