Spokane Journal of Business

Plans for home shows take shape

Spokane Showcase of Homes scheduled for Sept. 24-Oct. 3, North Idaho show set for summer

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Home builder trade organizations in Spokane and North Idaho have set the dates and begun preparing for their annual new-home shows.

The Spokane Home Builders Associations 55th annual Showcase of Homes has been set for Sept. 24-Oct. 3 at River Bluff Ranch northwest of Spokane.

Meanwhile, the North Idaho Building Contractors Associations annual Parade of Homes Show is slated for July 31-Aug. 8 at various sites.

This years Spokane Home Builders show will seek to offer attendees an alluring blend of nature and technology.

The homes at River Bluff Ranch will boast access to recreation areas and hiking trails, but also will include fiber optics to allow for video communications and high-speed Internet access, says Rick Roening, of Windermere Real Estate/North Wall Inc.

The home-show site is located west of U.S. 395, south of Hazard Road, and northwest of Wandermere Golf Course.

Currently, three homes are under construction there, and a few more lots are still available, he says. Builders participating in the showcase include RSVP Construction Inc., of Colbert, Ted Miller Construction Inc., of Spokane, and Northwest Equity Builders Inc., also of Spokane.

Roening, who is marketing the development, says homes there likely will range in price from $500,000 to nearly $1 million.

Kathy Johnson, event coordinator for the Spokane Home Builders Association, says that last year just under 12,000 people attended the event, which was held at the Ridge at Hangman development about eight miles south of Spokane.

Admission to this years showcase is $8 for adults. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free, she says.

River Bluff Ranch includes a 31-acre recreation area, with pedestrian paths, a sports court, a gazebo, and a childrens play area. The developer also plans to add a horseshoe pit and sand volleyball court, Roening says. In addition to the recreation area, the development has a 100-acre undeveloped forested area partially bordering county and state parks. That area eventually will be expanded, he says.

We wanted the amenities of a rural setting with the availability of technology and the convenience of a well-planned neighborhood, Roening says.

Other features in River Bluff Ranch include laundry and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery service, and grocery delivery. Each home in the development is required by covenants to build a concierge room, where deliveries may be left or items may be picked up. The rooms are big enough to accommodate a refrigerator and clothing bar and have two lockable doors, one that delivery people will be able to enter.

All lots have views, Roening says. You can see from Mount Spokane, across the top of Five Mile Prairie, and see buildings of downtown Spokane and to the west for the sunsets, he says.

In total, the development takes up about 800 acres. Riverbluff Land Co., the Spokane company which is developing River Bluff Ranch, owns an additional 1,200 acres there that it plans to develop later, Roening says.

The first lot at River Bluff Ranch was sold in 2002, and there are seven lots remaining in the 30-lot first phase, he says. The developer plans to start on the second phase in late spring or early summer with eight or nine lots, he says. When finished, the development is expected to have a total of 90 lots. The lots, which are large, range in size from two to 13 acres, and sell for between $89,000 and $210,000, he says.

In addition, River Bluff Ranch was named a Firewise Community by the Firewise Communities/USA Project, a program sponsored by multiple government and private organizations. The designation is given to developments that meet fire safety requirements.

In North Idaho

The number of builders and sites that will be included in the North Idaho Parade of Homes have yet to be determined, but the show normally features between 15 and 18 homes, says Chris Rogers, the North Idaho Building Contractors Associations executive officer. In previous shows, homes were located in Post Falls, Coeur dAlene, Hayden, Hayden Lake, Athol, Blanchard, and Rathdrum, she says.

Based on past shows, this years homes likely will range from about $100,000 to $1 million, with the largest share of homes priced at between $200,000 and $500,000, she says.

Rogers predicts attendance will be the same as or higher than at last years show, which she estimates drew between 8,000 and 11,000 people.

The association has 207 members, of which 43 are builders, she says.

Builder registration is open until April 2, and late registrations will be accepted until July 5.

Home improvement

Separately, the Spokane Home Builders Association will present its fifth annual Home Improvement Show, from April 30 to May 2 at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. The show will feature nearly 200 exhibitors displaying their products and services, including landscaping, remodeling, doors, heating and cooling, lighting, pools and spas, security systems, remodeling services, art, home furnishings, and audio and video equipment.

The admission charge will be $5 for adults, and children age 12 and under will be admitted free.

The association has about 840 members, Johnson says. About one-third of those are builders, and the rest are associate members, including subcontractors, real estate agents, lenders, and vendors.

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