COEUR d'ALENE - A new affordable workforce housing project is one step closer to being built just north of Capone's Pub & Grill in Midtown Coeur d'Alene.
Lake City Development Corp. has released the schematic for the commercial and mixed-use affordable housing project slated for midtown.
"We are still in the process of gathering input on the design," said Tony Berns, LCDC executive director. "We have incorporated a lot of input into this already, and we hope we captured it."
The project is designed to improve, modernize and develop a unique live-work district in the midtown area of Coeur d'Alene. Burns said that area has been considered an underutilized area.
This project will consist of 38 total units with a building footprint of 12,000 square feet. The three-story building will stand 40 feet tall.
The developer of the project, The Housing Company from Boise, is planning to compete this fall for federal tax credit financing to fund the project.
Berns said each state gets a share of federal tax credits to construct affordable housing and Idaho has a competitive process where developers can compete for those credits twice a year.
He said if The Housing Company is successful in securing $6 million in tax credits, those credits can be sold to large corporations that are seeking federal tax write-offs.
Corporations can get a dollar-for-dollar write-off for each credit they purchase, Berns said.
"So if Exxon buys $6 million worth of credits, they can write off $6 million in federal taxes."
Berns said the workforce housing is different from low-income housing in that residents in workforce housing projects must be employed and meet certain income requirements.
He said he was unsure of the exact income requirements, and Housing Company Director Douglas Peterson could not be reached for comment Monday.
"The Housing Company has worked with LCDC for two years now. We are happy to be involved," Peterson said in a press release last week. "We will continue to work together to bring this project to fruition, while also fulfilling a need to create quality affordable housing in the midtown neighborhood."
The makeup of the project breaks down as follows:
* 101 parking spaces, 52 of which are resident-specific
* 4,000 square feet of commercial space on the Fourth Street ground level
* 2,500 square feet of residential amenities, such as a fitness center, community room, laundry, etc.
* Six two-bedroom, one-bath units (850 sq ft)
* 18 one-bedroom, one-bath units (650 sq ft)
* 14 studio, one-bath units (450 sq ft)
There will be public parking on the north and south sides and the west side parking will be for residents.
Additionally, Berns said there will be a pocket park on the south side of the project across the street from Capone's.
"That pocket park will be a nice amenity for midtown." he added. "Hopefully we are past some of those concerns some of the neighbors had in the past."
The original project proposed for that property was abandoned two years ago after residential neighbors complained about it. But now it seems at least one commercial neighbor is fine with it.
"When I look at the drawing, I see that they are working very hard to try and make everyone happy. It is a nice project," said Teresa Capone, owner of Capone's.