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Parker Toyota Eyes Event Center Buy

One local businessman and sports fan is trying to buy a hunk of land that he would donate to North Idaho College for a proposed event center. Doug Parker, owner of Parker Toyota, said he has made an offer to Washington Trust Bank to purchase roughly 22 acres in west Riverstone so the college would have cost-free land for a proposed sport and event facility. "We're negotiating as we speak," Parker told The Press this week, saying his offer began in "the 3 million dollar range." It's "not concrete yet. We have actually made a couple of written offers and had them rejected, (but) we still have the potential of putting something together." The land is in the process of being annexed into the city. It sits off Seltice Way, east of the U.S. Bank Call Center. About 7 acres of it sits on the bank of the Spokane River/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green CdA Press photo: A dirt biker rides through a parcel of land off of Seltice Way in the West Riverstone area which Doug Parker, owner of Parker Toyota may be purchasing)

Question: If Doug Parker provided $3M-plus gift to North Idaho College for future event center at Riverstone, would you be more inclined to support the project?

CityLink Transit Center Plans Advance

Martin Burke, of Coeur d'Alene steps off a Citylink bus Monday as it drops off passengers at the transit center in Riverstone. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Land for the first phase of a permanent public transit center in Riverstone is expected to be acquired by September and construction is pegged to start next year, a county official said. "There's renewed enthusiasm in the project," said Christine Fueston, the county's Federal Transit Administration grant administrator. Kootenai County commissioners today are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with The Coeur d'Alene Tribe to cooperatively work on the project. The site for the permanent center will be where the existing temporary center is at the southwest corner of Seltice Way and Riverstone Drive in Riverstone/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Have you ridden CityLink?

Event Center Challenge: Raise $5M

To build an event center in Riverstone, North Idaho College will have to break its fundraising record. The college's president thinks it can. Not only that, but he thinks NIC could secure the $5 million total in about a year. "I'm absolutely confident we can raise that," NIC President Joe Dunlap told The Press Thursday. "I do have some commitments. I can't tell you who from or for how much, but we do have some commitments." The $5 million would go to operational costs to run a multi-use event center in Riverstone off Seltice Way. On Wednesday, the city's urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., agreed to fund $10 million to help build the arena. But before the college can capitalize on LCDC's pledge, it would have to raise and spend $5 million on the project first - a college record/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Joe Dunlap)

Question: Do you think North Idaho College can raise $5M in private donations to match $10 from urban renewal, to build an Events Center?

2 Sites Possible For Event Center

Item: Two sites possible for NIC event center: Possible site at Riverstone valued at $2.5 million/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Organizers hoping to build an event center in Riverstone have identified two parcels of land in the multi-use development where the 5,000-seat arena could go. One site is about 10 acres and the other about 6. The 6-acre site is west of West Riverstone Drive and the 10-acre site is east of the drive. The 6-acre site is where Citylink's parking lot now sits. Riverstone developer John Stone estimates the land's worth at $2.5 million, but he says he'll sell the land at its appraised value if North Idaho College moves forward with a purchase.

Question: I sense that the idea of an events center is gaining momentum. What do you think?

Riverstone McDonalds?

I've always had the theory that you can accurately determine an area's population growth rate and level of prosperity by how many Macdonald's exist there. The first CdA area McDonalds appeared on former farmland on Appleway at some point in the early-mid 1970's, when Appleway was basically considered to be somewhere out in the boonies on your way to Hayden Lake. Actually, things had picking up a bit in that part of town for a little while with the opening of Cd'A's tiny first indoor shopping mall a few years earlier, but I don't think Appleway was even paved until a couple of years prior. Flash forward to 1993, and the significantly larger (but still not so huge) Silver Lake Mall has been been a few miles north of Appleway on Hanley Ave in an area that was once again considered to be the outer edge of civilization for those living close to downtown. McDonald's is to shopping malls as flies are to a fresh potato salad at a summer picnic/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here. (AP file photo of McDonald's quarter pounders)

Question: Are you looking forward to having a McDonalds at the entrance to Riverstone?

LCDC: $10M For Center Possible

Item: LCDC: $10 million is possible: Agency could secure funds to help build NIC event center/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Lake City Development Corp. has $10 million to help build an event center in Riverstone. Before the urban renewal agency decides whether it wants to pay for the bulk of the project North Idaho College is pitching, more market, feasibility and financing numbers have to be studied thoroughly. Until then, LCDC is interested in helping land the multi-use sports complex near the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Interstate 90, it said Wednesday, and it could secure the funds to do it.

Question: Both NIC Trustee Ron Nilson and Councilman Dan Gookin support construction of an event center at Riverstone. However, Gookin said during a joint meeting of the council and LCDC board that he didn't support using urban renewal money to build the center. Should he (if it's the only way the center can be built)?

Riverstone Hitting Its Stride

Local developer John Stone talked about the exciting additions to Riverstone during a tour on March 5 in Coeur d’Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

After more than a decade of setbacks and stalled progress, the 155-acre (Riverstone) development at the Lake City’s front door is springing to life with new shops and restaurants, hundreds of residents and plans to build out the west end with apartment buildings, a regional transit center and possibly a new indoor sports arena for North Idaho College. There’s also serious talk of adding a technology discovery center for kids and families, and finding a new home for the 90-year-old carousel that once spun fun at Playland Pier on Lake Coeur d’Alene. And community speculation about when specialty grocer Trader Joe’s will land here never seems to fade. Stone, who turns 70 next month, is making the final brush strokes on his masterpiece/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Is it safe to say now that the Great Recession was the only reason that Riverstone hasn't boomed before now?

Riverstone Developers Have Big Plans

Developers have big plans for the final phases of Riverstone in Coeur d’Alene, including the high-profile west entrance along Seltice Way. Here are the highlights: An arena for college sports and community events is an idea that has been kicked around for several years. It emerged again in recent months, with North Idaho College looking at possibly owning and operating the venue. The 5,000-seat arena under consideration would cost an estimated $12 million to $15 million. Riverstone developer John Stone is enthusiastic about the project as an anchor on the west end of the development. The arena would provide an economic boost in the winter months when tourism falls off, he said/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: Rita Sims-Snyder of the Coeur d’Alene Carousel Foundation talks about plans for the vintage carousel)

Question: Other proposals for the Riverstone site include a transit center, discovery center and site for the old Coeur d'Alene carousel. Are these things you could support for Coeur d'Alene?

Riverstone Wants $20K For Lot Lease

Riverstone West, LLC is asking Kootenai County to pay more than $20,000 a year to use a parking lot for community busing services, after the company has provided the lot for free for several years. The county can hardly be bitter, said Commissioner Dan Green. "I guess it's always nice getting it for free, we'll be disappointed we have to pay, but it's the gentleman's property," Green acknowledged. For roughly five years, developer John Stone has allowed vacant lots at the Riverstone development to be used for Citylink buses to pick up and deposit passengers. Riders have also parked their cars there. Those activities have been situated for about four years at a 1.4-acre dirt lot at East Seltice Way and West Riverstone Drive/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

Question: Seems like a small price to pay for a good service. What do you think?

Developer Discusses Riverstone

In this 2007 SR file photo, developer John Stone stands in his burgeoning Riverstone development. Riverstone, the large multi-use development off Northwest Boulevard at Coeur d'Alene's western entrance, has been hit hard by the long recession.

John Stone has agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to be interviewed by North Idaho Business Journal at 11 a.m. on 11/11/11. He shows up at Starbucks, right on time, a Riverstone promotional packet in hand and a countenance on his serious face as gray as the November skies. It is the look of a man who devoted much of his time and more of his treasure to create and then shape this project over a dozen years, yet as he walks through the front door of the coffee shop he looks anything but triumphant/Mike Patrick, North Idaho Business Journal writer. More here.

Question: What are the most attractive facets of Riverstone for you?

FBI Building Going On In Riverstone

Item: An FBI presence at Riverstone/Nils Rosdahl, Business Bits, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The official occupant is the General Services Administration, but the people in the building just under construction at 2155 N. Riverstone Drive will be with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The 9,500- square-foot, single-level structure to be completed in April is located on the inside corner of Riverstone Drive, south of where it connects with Seltice Way. It's west of the Riverstone Administration building, which won't be that too much longer. We'll get into the details of that and another new Riverstone building next week.

Question: Did you know the FBI had an office in Coeur d'Alene?

Drink In Stunning Views @ Bardenay

The shiny copper distilling equipment and stainless steel storage tanks at the entrance of the restaurant provide a glimpse of what’s inside. Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery, with locations in Coeur d’Alene, Boise and Eagle, Idaho, is the first combination restaurant and distillery in this country. The name Bardenay comes from an obscure sailing term for any kind of celebratory drink, according to owner Kevin Settles. Overlooking the pond in the Village at Riverstone, the Coeur d’Alene location boasts outstanding views with its wraparound porch, tall glass windows and see-through fireplace. The booths and tables near the window provide the best view, or you can seek out a quieter spot in back with a view of the distillery/Kirsten Harrington, SR. (SR photo/Kathy Plonka: Bar tender Allyson Duvall pours a huckleberry lemon drop martini at The Bardenay on Monday.)

DFO: I hate baring my soul because Cindy has a habit of stomping all over it. But I've only been to the Bardenay once, to share hors d''oeuvres with some office mates. Have no strong impression of the place.

Question: Are you a Bardenay fan?

Riverstone Installing Infrastructure

The final public improvements could be complete within the next few months at Riverstone, a 160-acre residential and commercial project along the Spokane River in Coeur d’Alene. “We will have all of our infrastructure completed, and all of our lots will be available and ready to go with this last piece, so that feels pretty good,” said Development Manager Mike Craven, of SRM Development. “We’ll have more lots available and more choices.” Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, the Lake City Development Corp., recently approved $1.5 million in tax-increment financing, which helps the developer extend a road to the complex’s final 11 lots. That brings the total of tax-increment financing used for the development since 2000 to $9.68 million/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: How often do you visit Riverstone, to do business, see a movie, shop, eat, or drink?

Developer John Stone Steps Down

Item: Stone steps down: SRM Development, LLC announces his departure/Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: After 37 years in the development business, John Stone wants time to play a little more golf, maybe visit Hawaii, too. The man behind the Riverstone project in Coeur d'Alene has stepped away from his role as a partner with SRM Development, LLC. "I believe it is an opportune time to depart from SRM," he said in a press release. "I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in a business that I have thoroughly enjoyed for over four decades and I look forward to continuing the Riverstone project until its completion."

Question: How would you rate John Stone's impact on Coeur d'Alene?

HBO Poll: Don’t Extend Protections

  • Wednesday Poll: 116 of 224 respondents (52%) said they don’t want to see Idaho extend human-rights protections to the gay and lesbian community. 103 of 224 (46%) said they’d like to see those protections extended. 5 of 224 (2%) were undecided.
  • Riverstone Poll: 81 of 118 respondents (68.6%) expect John Stone’s Riverstone development to boom again once the recession is over. 28 of 118 (23.7%) say the project is a bust. 6 of 118 (5.1%) say it should already be considered a boom. 3 of 118 (2.5%) were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Would you like to see Idaho make cell phone bans while driving a primary offense w/$124 tickets for violators?

Condo Prices Falls Ahead Of Auction

With just a week and a half to go prices have dropped yet again for luxury condos being sold in the Village at Riverstone auction in Coeur d’Alene. The latest starting bid price drop for a one-bedroom unit is $204,000 less than the original asking price. From newspaper ads to auction signs advertising starting bids at $125,000 the luxury one, two and three condos off Northwest Boulevard have dropped in price by nearly 50-percent, which is attracting bargain hunters and the curious alike. In the 20 years that Nellrae Kealy has lived in Coeur d’Alene she’s never seen anything quite like this/KXLY. More here.

Question: What would it take to get you into one of these condos?