Spokane Journal of Business

Catholic Charities plans two more Father Bach structures in Spokane

$24M development to add 102 housing units targeting city’s homeless population

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-—Architecture All Forms
Catholic Charities of Spokane is scheduled to break ground next fall on 51-unit Father Bach IV structure, above, at 164 S. State, on the east end of downtown Spokane. The building will be modeled somewhat after the Father Bach Haven building at 108 S. State, which was the first of the series of such structures Catholic Charities is building to curb homelessness. Inland Group, of Spokane, is the general contractor for both Father Bach IV and V, which is planned at northeast corner of First Avenue and Division Street.
-—Architecture All Forms
The Father Bach V structure, above, is to be constructed at the northeast corner of First Avenue and Division Street, east of downtown Spokane.

Catholic Charities of Spokane hopes to begin construction in the fall on the fourth and fifth buildings in the Father Bach series of low income housing apartment projects, says Jonathan Mallahan, vice president of housing for Catholic Charities Spokane, which owns the Father Bach developments.

Both buildings are expected to be four stories tall with a combined construction cost of $10 million, although full costs, including integrated supportive permanent housing programs to serve the chronically homeless population, will come to about $24 million for both projects combined, Mallahan says.

Preliminary site plans show the 42,100-square-foot Father Bach IV structure would be constructed on  164 S. State, and the 36,200-square-foot Father Bach V building would be constructed on the northeast corner of Division Street and First Avenue. Both sites are currently vacant.

Each of the envisioned buildings would have 51 living units, with roughly half being studio apartments and half being one-bedroom units. Common areas in each building would include a courtyard and a laundry room, preliminary plans show.

The projects currently are in the predevelopment stage, meaning the developer has initiated the city planning process, although the projects haven’t yet reached the building permit application stage.

Inland Group, of Spokane, is the contractor on the projects, and Architecture All Forms, of Spokane, is designing them.

Construction is expected to start in November and be completed in October 2019.

The buildings would be modeled somewhat after the original 51-unit Father Bach Haven project, which opened in 2013 at 108 S. State.

The Father Bach complexes provide integrated social services, giving residents long-term support, Mallahan says.

“Chronic homelessness is still a problem in Spokane,” he says. “Our intent is to build housing for the most in need until we can solve that problem.”

The funding package for the projects will include $19.6 million in low-income housing tax credits recently approved by the Washington state Housing Finance Commission through a competitive process meant to encourage developers to build or rehabilitate affordable multifamily housing.

Mallahan says Catholic Charities Spokane also plans to tap into grants, loans, and other funding sources to complete the funding for the projects.

Father Bach II, which was renamed Buder Haven, is located at 201 E. Second. Father Bach III, which was renamed Donna Hanson Haven, is located at 24 W. Second, directly north of the planned Father Bach IV site. Buder Haven and Donna Hanson Haven were renamed during the construction phases. Buder Haven opened in the spring of 2016 and Donna Hanson Haven opened late last year.

All three of those apartment buildings are fully occupied, says Mallahan, and have a waitlist managed by Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners, or SNAP. 

Father Bach IV and Father Bach V also likely will be renamed in later planning or construction phases.

Father Bach Haven was named for Monsignor Frank Bach, former director of Catholic Charities and lifelong advocate for the poor and vulnerable.

Samantha Peone
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Reporter Samantha Peone joined the Journal in 2015 as research coordinator before later transitioning into a reporter role. She covers real estate and construction.

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