Brian Smith, a retired Inland Empire Paper Co. employee, says he’s taking advantage of the city of Spokane’s Building Opportunity and Choices for All interim ordinance to develop a nearly $1 million multifamily project on a lot he owns in the South Perry District that already has a house on it.
Preliminary plans call for dividing 1/3 of an acre of land at 1105 S. Arthur, across 11th Avenue from Grant Park, into two parcels, says Smith.
The property will have a building with three townhome-style units, which will face 11th Avenue, and a standalone home with a 900-square-foot accessory dwelling unit in the basement that will face Arthur Street, he says. An existing home at the southeast corner of 11th and Arthur will remain on that parcel.
Smith says he is a contractor himself and will also be working with Spokane-based Romane Construction LLC. Smith has hired Spokane House Plans Inc., of Spokane Valley, to provide architectural services.
Garage spaces will be provided for some—but potentially not all—of the units, says Smith.
“I’m conscious of the impacts of the neighborhood and want (the development) to be for the betterment of the neighborhood,” he says.
Smith purchased the property in February 2020 for $357,000 through the entity 49GKids LLC, he says. So far, he has completed minor site work and hopes to have permits for development by year-end.
Smith, 68, says he’s able to build multifamily housing in the South Perry District through the Building Opportunity and Choices for All ordinance.
The interim ordinance allows up to four dwelling units on any residential lot within the city. It was passed by the City Council on July 18, 2022, and was extended this summer to allow for more projects to be submitted and allow for staff to work on incorporating code changes in the city’s comprehensive land-use plan to encourage infill development, says Brian Walker, a spokesman for the city.
There has been a steady uptick in recent months of pre-development applications for projects with up to four dwelling units, says Walker. As of Aug. 31, there were 439 units in preliminary design through the city’s pre-development conferences, a 110 rise within a three-month period, says Walker.
Developers of five recent projects with up to four units also have taken advantage of the city’s multifamily tax incentive, which allows for property tax exemptions for certain multifamily projects in exchange for providing workforce housing for people earning 80% to 120% of the area median income, says Walker.
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