North Idaho building boom continues

North Idaho building boom continues

McLean, Mike

North Idaho will experience another year of big building projects, construction observers there say.

The city of Coeur d’Alene bucked a regional trend in declining building permits in 2007, and work on a host of big projects there will continue through 2008 and beyond, says Jonathan Coe, president and CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Area Chamber of Commerce.

Building permit numbers also were up in Post Falls in 2007, and North Idaho’s second most populous city is poised for another burst in commercial construction, says Monte Risvold, owner of Risvold Consulting, of Coeur d’Alene, and director of commercial real estate and development services for Re/Max of Spokane.

In Coeur d’Alene, construction is continuing at an aggressive pace at Riverstone, the 161-acre mixed-use development along the Spokane River northwest of downtown.

“Riverstone’s plans just keep on going,” Coe says.

Among the current projects there, Spokane-based SRM Development LLC is building three mixed-use structures that will have a combined 192,000 square feet of floor space. The structures in the Village at Riverstone phase of the development will have ground-floor retail space and, on two upper floors, will have a total of 133 condominium units. The buildings, which have a combined permit value of more than $20 million, are expected to be completed this summer.

Also at Riverstone, River CRESS LLC hopes to break ground in March on a three-story, 10,500-square-foot office building, at 2140 Riverstone Drive. Williamson-Johnson Co., of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor on the $2 million project, and Momentum Architecture Inc., of Coeur d’Alene, designed it.

Just southwest of Riverstone, a Coeur d’Alene-based development company, Coeur d’Alene Condominiums, is planning a 74-unit project at 1214 W. Mill, near the Spokane River. Art Bale, part owner of the company, says he expects construction will begin sometime this year, although financing still is being sought for the project.

The 190,000-square-foot structure planned in the project would have five above-ground floors and two basement levels for parking.

The ground level will have 40,300 square feet of floor space that might include some retail shops, Bale says. Contractors Northwest Inc., of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor on the project, and Patano Architects PA, of Coeur d’Alene, designed it.

Construction began last July and is expected to continue through spring 2009 on the $38.7 million Salvation Army Coeur d’Alene Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center at the northwest corner of Atlas Road and Golf Course Road, a few blocks north of Interstate 90.

Robert B. Goebel General Contractor Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the 123,000-square-foot complex, which will include an aquatic center, an indoor track, a chapel and performing arts theater, and other facilities. Miller Stauffer Architects PA, of Coeur d’Alene; Architects West PA, of Coeur d’Alene; and Denver-based Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture designed it.

Goebel also is the general contractor on the $50 million, 20-story Parkside Tower, which is under construction at 601 Front in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Miller Stauffer designed and is developing the mixed-use, 215-foot-tall project, which is expected to be completed late this year.

“The commercial side continues to do well,” Coe says. “The momentum of projects like the Kroc Center, Parkside, and Riverstone will carry through the year.”

Miller Stauffer also designed the highly visible Towers at Ridgepointe, a $45-million, six-story, 74-unit luxury condominium complex being developed adjacent to the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course by Edge Development Group LLC, of Bend, Ore. Ginno Construction Co., of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor on the project, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2009.

On the north side of Coeur d’Alene, construction began in April 2007 on the new Coeur d’Alene Federal Courthouse, just west of Hecla Mining Co.’s corporate office building, which is located near the northwest corner of U.S. 95 and Hanley Avenue.

Garco Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the $19.5 million courthouse project, and ALSC Architects PS, of Spokane, designed it.

The 60,000-square-foot, three-story structure will house U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and U.S. Magistrate Court, and will have office space for the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. attorney, and the federal probation service, Garco says. Construction is scheduled to be completed this October.

Just west of the new courthouse, a four-story, 100,000-square-foot office building is under construction at Coldwater Creek Inc.’s Coeur d’Alene campus.

The two upper stories of that $9 million structure will house office space, and the two other floors, one below ground and one at ground level, will be used for parking. The building site is just southeast of the Sandpoint-based women’s clothing retailer’s 60,000-square-foot Coeur d’Alene call center.

Lydig Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor for that project, as well as a $2 million, 14,000-square foot addition to the call center.

ALSC Architects designed both projects, which are scheduled to be completed in August.

The city of Coeur d’Alene issued 458 building permits for new construction last year, up 22.5 percent from 374 permits in 2006. The total value of permits issued in 2007 was $187.4 million, up 8.6 percent from the previous record of $172.4 million a year earlier. Coeur d’Alene issued 313 permits for single-family homes last year, up over 50 percent from 208 permits for single-family homes issued in 2006.

Post Falls still hot

Meanwhile, Post Falls issued 1,073 building permits last year, including permits for building remodels and alterations, up from 948 permits in 2006. The total value of the permits issued last year was $118.8 million, up 28 percent from $92.8 million in 2006. Single-family home starts, however, fell 35 percent to 180 last year, from 279 permits in 2006.

Risvold says the national housing slowdown has made some developers uneasy about launching projects, but adds that North Idaho might be insulated from the worst of the downturn, as evidenced by recent and planned commercial construction.

“This area is in a better position than a lot of other communities in the country,” Risvold says. “It offers a lot more for folks who want a special resort-style life.”

One of the more celebrated construction projects in Post Falls last year was the 130,000-square-foot Cabela’s Inc. retail outlet at the Pointe at Post Falls development. Construction of that $20 million project began in the spring of 2007, and the Cabela’s store opened in the fall. Vandervert Construction Inc., of Spokane, was the contractor, and Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was the architect on the project.

Kathryn Tacke, the Idaho state Department of Labor’s regional economist in Coeur d’Alene, says other major retail tenants are expected to commit to projects at the Pointe at Post Falls this year.

Another big retail development is planned on the other end of Post Falls, where a 500,000-square-foot shopping center has been proposed by Cincinnati-based Phillips Edison Development Co. on a 50-acre site at the northeast corner of state Route 41 and Prairie Avenue.

Phillips Edison says it expects the center to include a grocery store, bigbox stores, other retailers, and restaurants.

“If Phillips Edison can come in here with two ‘big boxes’ in tow, that speaks loudly about the economy here,” Risvold says.

The company has initiated discussions with Post Falls about annexing the site, which is adjacent to the city limits, he says. Site work and possibly construction could begin there this year because Phillips Edison wants to open parts of the planned development in 2009 or 2010, he says.

Roy Williams, vice president of Phillips Edison, declines to disclose an estimated value for the development while it’s in the conceptual stage. The bare land that Phillips Edison bought for the development was listed for $10 million.

The center is expected to anchor the

Prairie Crossing mixed-use development, which is part of the larger Tullamore development, a 300-acre, multiuse project that’s planned on the west side of state Route 41 between Poleline and Prairie avenues.

Meanwhile, the city of Post Falls is building a new City Hall largely because of economic and population growth there in recent years. Gino Construction began work last year on the new City Hall campus, which is located near the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Spokane Street, just south of the current City Hall Building. The $8.8 million project, which was designed by G.D. Longwell Architects PLLC, of Hayden Lake, is scheduled to be completed this spring.

The two-story 41,500-square-foot City Hall building will accommodate the city’s administrative offices, council chambers, parks department, and building and planning departments, which are currently housed in three buildings.

Resort-style developments rising

Upscale homes ranging from cottages to estate homes are under construction in a resort-style setting at the Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club on the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The $100 million-plus golf community is being developed near Arrow Point by San Francisco-based Discovery Land Co. The 700-acre master plan for the development includes 350 residential lots priced from $350,000 to $1.5 million.

In Shoshone County’s Silver Valley, several resort or second-home projects are in various stages of development.

At Silver Mountain Ski Resort, in Kellogg, construction is under way at the Galena Ridge golf course community. Galena Ridge eventually will have 870 residential units, 30 commercial spaces, and an 18-hole championship golf course, the resort says. The development will be on 560 acres between the Bunker Hill Mine and Government Gulch, about a quarter-mile west of Kellogg. Nine holes of the golf course are expected to open in 2009, and the full 18-hole course will open the following year.

Separately, more than 200 condominium units are planned or under construction near the base of the resort’s gondola, in Kellogg. One of the latest condominium projects to be announced is Bunker Hill Condominiums, a 32-unit luxury complex planned by Boise-based Clearwater Lodging LLC. The $10 million project will be a four-story structure with 36,000 square feet of floor space that will include a private spa and fitness facility in addition to the condo units, says Jim Cecil, a principal at Clearwater Lodging.

Brown Contracting & Development Corp., of Spokane, is the contractor on the project, which will be located near the entrance to the resort’s Gondola Village. Nystrom Olson Collins Inc., of Spokane, designed it.

At Schweitzer Mountain Resort, near Sandpoint, Idaho, Lydig Construction is working on a $50 million infrastructure project that will serve several housing developments planned there, says Tom Fortune, a real estate broker at Schweitzer Land & Timber Co., the real estate arm of the resort.

The resort began marketing the 127-lot Trappers Creek multifamily housing development last June. Prices for the lots, which will have ski-in access fromthe resort, start at $600,000, Fortune says.

Lots in Schweitzer’s next planned development, Greyhawk, a 41-lot single-family residential project with lot prices starting at more than $1 million, are expected to go on sale this year, Fortune says.

Also near Sandpoint, construction is under way at SilverWing at Sandpoint, a $28 million project at Sandpoint Airport that’s planned to include 44 “fly-in” residences and commercial and aviation services. As part of the project, the developer, Long Beach, Calif.-based SilverWing at Sandpoint, is developingtwo commercial buildings to provide aviation-related services, says John McKeown, spokesman for the developer.

Interstate Concrete & Asphalt, of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor for the infrastructure work for the SilverWing project. Erect-A-Tube Inc., of Harvard Ill., will construct the aircraft hangars, which will include loft-like spaces for the living areas, McKeown says. JAG Architecture, of La Mesa, Calif., designed the project.

Copyright Northwest Business Press Inc. Mar 6, 2008

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