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Riverstone comes to life

John Stone, the developer of Riverstone, stands in his burgeoning development.  
 (The Spokesman-Review)
John Stone, the developer of Riverstone, stands in his burgeoning development. (The Spokesman-Review)

From the window of his third-story office building, John Stone can spy a crane, bulldozers and the skeletons of new buildings.

The spring construction season is in full swing at Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development, and it’s ushering in roughly $100 million worth of new construction along the Spokane River.

Stone’s firm, SRM Development of Spokane, is the lead developer. But other builders are also active on the 160 acres, which are being reclaimed from a long vacant sawmill site and former gravel pit.

AmeriTel Inn is developing a five-story, 100-room Hampton Inn near the river. Black Rock Development is constructing the first phase of Bellerive, a residential neighborhood along the water.

The first residents have already moved into Bellerive, said Marshall Chesrown, owner of Black Rock Development. The project’s first phase includes 12 single-family homes, 14 condos and 44 loft-style condos. The lofts are part of the Riverfront House, a multi-story building that will have commercial space on the first floor. Prices for Bellerive’s residential units range from about $450,000 to $1.5 million, Chesrown said.

Bellerive’s second phase will begin this summer. Black Rock is approved to build up to 412 residential units along the waterfront. The area will be bordered by a public boardwalk that runs along the Spokane River.

SRM Development also has a condo/retail building under construction, and has begun the excavation work for a second building. The three-story structures will have underground parking, first-floor retail space and two levels of condos.

A Barnes & Noble is one of the retail outlets planned for the first building. The condos are priced in the $300,000 to $600,000 range. The first units should be ready by February 2008.

Construction has also begun on Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery, which is adjacent to a six-acre lake constructed on the site of the former gravel pit. The restaurant, which includes a distillery wing that will produce rum, vodka and gin, is scheduled to open this summer.

SRM Development is also building a 50,000-square foot office structure and has plans for a second office building, Stone said. Work is also underway on a road that will connect the Riverstone development to Seltice Way.

Stone anticipates $475 million worth of development on the 160 acres within five years.

Tax payers are bankrolling part of the reclamation effort. SRM Development will receive about $8 million in tax increment financing for public improvements to the land, including roads and a 10-acre public park. The company is paying for the improvements upfront. It will recoup the $8 million over several years, from money paid in property taxes generated by the development.


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