Spokane Journal of Business

Kootenai County looks to ride building momentum

Multifamily, public projects boost growth in construction

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-—Mike McLean
Whitewater Creek Inc., of Hayden, makes progress on one of the two multifamily-housing projects that it’s building in the Riverstone development.
-—Parkwood Business Properties
The Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs Medical Center plans to move its Coeur d’Alene outpatient facility to this building later this year. Williamson-Johnson Co., of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor on the project, and Wolfe Architectural Group PS, of Spokane, designed it.
-—Mike McLean
A new Golden Corral restaurant is set to open later this year west of U.S. 95 in northern Coeur d’Alene. Vandervert Construction Inc., of Spokane, is constructing the $850,000 structure.

Kootenai County is gaining momentum in most sectors of the construction industry.

In 2013, construction volume in unincorporated Kootenai County and its three largest cities—Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, and Hayden—totaled $337 million, an astounding 59 percent increase compared with a year earlier, and the second year of double-digit growth following a steep decline from 2009 through 2011.

Projects valued at more than $120 million are under construction or in planning stages this year.

Ryan Nipp, head of leasing for Parkwood Business Properties, of Coeur d’Alene, says there’s growing optimism that the economy is turning in the right direction following the Great Recession.

“It’s nice to finally feel like we’re truly past the bottom and feel some momentum and upward trajectory,” Nipp says.

One of the most prominent projects under way in Coeur d’Alene is the main phase of improvements at McEuen Park, which will be completed this year.

The $14.6 million project is converting 15 acres of land, formerly mainly used for baseball, into a year-round multiuse park at the base of Tubbs Hill, near downtown.

The work includes demolishing and rebuilding Front Avenue between Second and Sixth streets and replacing the city’s Third Street parking lot with a parking structure at grade with the park and beneath Front Avenue.

Baseball fields have been removed, and a sports complex is being planned in another part of town to replace them.

McEuen Park amenities will include a grand plaza with an open pavilion, a play area, a splash pad, basketball and tennis courts, trails, a dog park, and restrooms.

Contractors Northwest Inc., of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor on the project, and Team McEuen, a design team led by Miller Stauffer Architects PA, of Coeur d’Alene, designed it.

On the west edge of downtown Coeur d’Alene, One Lakeside LLC, an affiliate of Aspen, Colo.-based Austin Lawrence Partners, plans to break ground this spring on a $20 million, 14-story, mixed-use residential tower at the northwest corner of First Street and Lakeside Avenue.

The project site currently is occupied by a two-story, 12-unit apartment building known as the Mudge Building, which Austin Lawrence acquired two years ago and plans to demolish.

The city of Coeur d’Alene has approved the design plan for the 125,000-square foot structure, which is to include 60 luxury apartment units, ranging in size from 750 to 3,400 square feet of living space.

Project plans also include a private covered parking facility and a rooftop pool.


Some of the larger private projects in Kootenai County are for multifamily housing.

They include the $11.2 million Carrington Place apartment project in the heart of The Landings, a big residential development south of Prairie Avenue and east of Huetter Road in northwest Coeur d’Alene. 

The complex, which is being constructed by The Land Co., a Coeur d’Alene real estate development company, will include 22 six-unit apartment buildings when it is completed this year.

Carrington Place will have one- to three-bedroom units with living spaces ranging from 800 square feet to 1,200 square feet of floor space, and the two-story apartment buildings each will have attached garages.

The Land Co. is acting as its own contractor on the project, and RND Architects PLLC, of Coeur d’Alene, designed it.

Hayden-based homebuilder Viking Construction Inc. is developing Fairway Meadows, a $7.4 million, 70-unit upscale apartment complex in northwest Coeur d’Alene.

The project site is on the west side of Ramsey Road, a block north of Kathleen Avenue.

Fairway Meadows will consist of seven two-story buildings each with 10 units. Each unit will range in size from 700 square feet to 1,700 square feet of living space. Eight units in each structure will have attached one-car garages and the rest will have two-car garages, all of which will be accessible from within their respective units.

Hayden multifamily housing developer Whitewater Creek Inc. is constructing two apartment complexes in the Riverstone mixed-use community in northwest Coeur d’Alene.

The larger of the two projects is the $9.8 million, 114-unit Riverstone Place apartment complex, located on the inside of John’s Loop, which connects in two places to Riverstone Drive in the western half of the 160-acre Riverstone development. Riverstone Place will include five three-story apartment buildings with a total of 125,300 square feet of living space, a single-story 2,700-square-foot community building, and 16 single-story garages with a total of 22,200 square feet of covered space.

The other Whitewater Creek project there is Riverstone West III, a $3.2 million, 38-unit affordable-housing complex located at the southwest corner of John’s Loop and Suzanne Road.

Whitewater Creek is acting as its own contractor on both projects, which are expected to be completed this summer, and ZBA Architecture PS, of Spokane, designed them. 

In a twist on multifamily housing, Coeur d’Alene residential development concern Qualitas Co., is constructing 20 small rental homes on a 1.6-acre lot about three blocks east of a Costco outlet in north Coeur d’Alene.

The site for the $1.6 million project is located at 3516 N. Mountain Lane, north of Lunceford Avenue.

Qualitas is acting as its own contractor on the houses, and the company designed them with assistance from All Venture Drafting, of Hayden.

The single-story pocket houses each will have about 1,000 square feet of space. Five of them will have one bedroom, and the others will have two bedrooms.

Tony Berns, executive director of the Lake City Development Corp., which is Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, says a long-planned workforce housing project near the northwest corner of Fourth Street and Roosevelt Avenue, in the heart of Coeur d’Alene’s Midtown District, might move to the front burner this year.

The project would be developed by The Housing Corp., an Idaho nonprofit.

“The Housing Corp. is very bullish this year,” Berns says. “They hope to move forward and get federal tax credit financing in September.” 

The project has been reduced in size to three stories from the original four-story design, he says. As currently envisioned, it would have ground-floor retail space, and the upper two stories would be apartment units.

LCDC has pledged $547,000 toward the project, contingent on the developer also getting tax credits to help fund it.

The project cost originally was estimated at $9.1 million. Berns says, however, that the project cost is being refined, considering the smaller scale.

Miller Stauffer Architects PA, of Coeur d’Alene, designed the project.


Two multitenant retail projects are under construction in the CrossRoads Coeur d’Alene shopping center, where a 71,000-square-foot WinCo Foods grocery store opened last fall, and a credit union plans to open a branch in a structure to be built there, possibly later this year.

Meridian Construction Inc., of Spokane Valley, is erecting the retail structures near the northeast corner of Ramsey Road and Appleway Avenue. One structure—a $928,000, 10,500-square-foot, concrete-masonry-block building with up to nine retail bays—is next to the west side of the WinCo store. Tenants there will include a Subway restaurant and a Supercuts haircut outlet.

Meridian also is erecting a $630,000, 7,000-square-foot building on the west edge of the development, near Ramsey Road. Tenants in that five-bay structure likely will include a Starbucks coffee shop and a Pita Pit restaurant.

Boise-based CSHQA designed both buildings, which are scheduled to be completed in April.

Just south of the five-bay building, closer to Appleway, Liberty Lake-based Spokane Teachers Credit Union plans to erect a stand-alone, 3,500-square-foot branch.

The credit union hasn’t disclosed a cost estimate for the project, but it built a similar-sized branch in Spokane Valley in 2011 for $950,000. STCU also hasn’t named a contractor or architect for the project.

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Hughes Investments is developing the CrossRoads Coeur d’Alene shopping center.

An $850,000, 8,000-square-foot structure, to be occupied by a Golden Corral Buffet & Grill restaurant, is nearing completion at 3458 N. Fruitland Lane, west of U.S. 95, in north Coeur d’Alene.

CDA Enterprises LLC, which is led by Coeur d’Alene developer Paul Delay, will own the building, and new Golden Corral franchisee, Golden Buffets Inc., of Bayview, Idaho, will lease it.

Vandervert Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the project. Raleigh, N.C.-based Golden Corral Corp. is working with Russell C. Page Architects, of Spokane, to implement a new prototype design for the 8,000-square-foot structure, which is smaller than older Golden Coral restaurants.

On the east side of U.S. 95, nearly directly across the highway from the Golden Corral building, Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers  by Vitamin Cottage is opening a specialty grocery store this month in a 16,000-square-foot building recently completed at 222 W. Neider, just south of a Red Lobster restaurant.

Haywood Builders LLC, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is the contractor on the $2.1 million project, and Vega Architecture, of Denver, designed it.

In addition to focusing on selling natural products, the store also will have a demonstration kitchen and meeting space where it will offer cooking classes and nutritional education and coaching.

Spokane contractor Williams Brother Construction LLC is constructing the $8.7 million first phase of upgrades at the Coeur d’Alene’s wastewater treatment facility, which is located at 765 W. Hubbard, near the Spokane River.

The project will include installation of an initial tertiary membrane filtration system to reduce the amount of phosphorus the plant discharges. It also will include building new tanks for filtering effluent, a structure to house the equipment needed to run and maintain the tanks, a new secondary waste pump station, modifications to an existing chemical center, a secondary controls building, and piping.

In Post Falls, the city hopes to begin construction this year on a long-envisioned Interstate 90 overpass that would link north and south sections of Greensferry Road, which currently terminate near the freeway.

The cost of the project is estimated at $17 million, including engineering, design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.

Spokane-based J-U-B Engineering is the engineering consultant on the project. A contractor hasn’t been selected for it yet.

The overpass, which likely would include pedestrian lanes, would improve north-south mobility in Post Falls. The city is bisected by I-90, and currently has no other such north-south link between the Highway 41 interchange in east Post Falls and the Seltice Way overpass.

Spokane-based Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs Medical Center plans to move its Coeur d’Alene Community-based outpatient clinic this spring into a new 16,200-square-foot building under construction at 915 W. Emma.

Parkwood Business Properties, of Coeur d’Alene, is developing the $1.8 million medical office building. Williamson-Johnson Co., of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor on the project, and Wolfe Architectural Group PS, of Spokane, designed it.

The clinic, which provides general-medicine outpatient treatments, mental health, and telemedicine services, will move from smaller quarters at 2177 N. Ironwood Center Drive.

The new facility will have 14 exam rooms and space to accommodate seven providers, visiting consultants, and intermittent specialty care providers.  

At the new location, the clinic will offer physical therapy and optometry services that the Coeur d’Alene clinic doesn’t currently provide.

It also will provide a training setting for residents in the fields of pharmacy, family practice, and primary care, and will be a launching point for a home-based, primary-care registered nurse.

School work

The Coeur d’Alene School District has three major construction projects still under way or planned under its $32.7 million bond measure voters approved in August 2012.

Contractors Northwest Inc., of Coeur d’Alene, is a contractor on a $4 million project that includes modernizing and expanding Borah Elementary School, located at 632 N. Borah.

The project also includes constructing a gym, an art room, a library, and a two-classroom addition with a combined total of 12,000 square feet of new floor space. The remodel portion of the project includes heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system renovations; technological upgrades; and traffic flow and parking improvements.

The work is scheduled to be completed in the fall.

Also under way in the Coeur d’Alene School District is a $4.9 million renovation and expansion project at Bryan Elementary School. The project includes remodeling the 21-classroom complex and constucting a security hallway enclosure nearly surrounding the building at 802 Harrison, about a half-mile north of the Coeur d’Alene’s city center. The project also includes construction of a new library, a computer lab, a teachers’ lounge, a front-office addition, and a 6,800-square-foot gymnasium.

Ginno Construction, of Coeur d’Alene, is the contractor on the Bryan project, which is scheduled to be completed in August.

In May, the school district will select a contractor for its final major school project under the bond—the $6 million Winton Elementary School replacement project at 920 W. Lacrosse, about a mile northwest of downtown Coeur d’Alene.

The project will include tearing down the existing school and building a new one with six additional classrooms. Work will start this spring, and the project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2015-2016 school year.

For the 2014-2015 school year, classes for Winton students will be held at the former Hayden Elementary School building, at 9650 N. Government Way, five miles north of Winton.

Longwell+Trapp Architects PLLC, of Hayden, designed the Borah, Bryan, and Winton school projects.


Coeur d’Alene businessman Jim Kinney has bought a 10-acre parcel of land in Hayden where he has announced plans to build a $2.7 million soccer facility.

The facility, which will be named the Hayden Soccer Complex, will be located at the northeast corner of Lacey Avenue and U.S. 95, about five miles north of Interstate 90.

Kinney envisions a sports facility with a regulation outdoor soccer field that will be ready for play in June, about the time that he hopes to begin construction of a 31,000-square-foot building with an indoor youth soccer field.

The Hayden Soccer Complex also will have indoor batting cages and accommodate year-round baseball training.

Coeur d’Alene architect Scott Cranston is designing the project, and a contractor hasn’t been named for it yet.

In northern Kootenai County, Silverwood Theme Park has embarked on a two-year, $1.2 million project that will expand the park’s family entertainment area by three-quarters of an acre, nearly doubling its size, says Nancy DiGiammarco, Silverwood’s marketing director.

New amenities that will open in the 2014 season will include a side-by-side kite glider ride, a giant puppy ride, and a spinning family coaster ride, DiGiammarco says.

Silverwood also will prepare space this year for the planned 2015 opening of a kid-friendly “hot air balloon” ride.

The new rides will be located north of Garfield’s Summer Camp and east of the Butterflyer and Frog Hopper attractions. Silverwood is acting as its own contractor on the project, which it also designed, DiGiammarco says.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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