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Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Coeur D’Alene Building Spree Continues, But Complexion Changes

By Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Revie

A look at building in Coeur d’Alene for the just-completed 1996-97 fiscal year shows the city is still on a fast track - keeping pace with last year, which was one of the top construction years ever in Coeur d’Alene.

However, the bottom lines for the two fiscal years reveal some subtle changes. There were 685 building permits issued in the latest fiscal year, which easily eclipses the 591 of last year. However, the value was $46.4 million, compared with $47.3 million the year before.

Why the major increase in the number of permits but decrease in valuation? Surely construction and property costs haven’t gone down?

Of course not.

“It’s changed complexion,” explained Coeur d’Alene Mayor Al Hassell. “We have fewer single large projects and many small ones.

“We have far less requests for rezones for commercial projects and housing subdivisions,” Hassell said. “There’s enough pending work (and houses for sale) that no new ones are needed. It’s a leveling-off effect.”

Details of the building permit requests show residents are completing many small jobs such as decks, garages, additions, reroofings. Some of this may include repairing damage from the November ice storm.

The figures show major construction may have peaked. This should give city and school services a chance to catch up, and it may give time for officials to reconsider project requests and prevent future overbuilding.

Remember those wonderful frosty mugs of A&W; Root Beer and those great root beer floats? They’ve been gone from Kootenai County for a long time, but they’re coming back!

To Athol. And maybe other locations later.

A&W; has signed to be included in a large new Texaco convenience store and quick service restaurant under construction in the southwest corner of the Highways 95 and 54 intersection. The 3,400-square-foot building should be complete in September.

Chris Clark, spokesman of the owning Clark family (with brother Jeff and father Dave) said a second fast-foot franchise probably will have another section of the complex. Taco Bell is the most likely. Both A&W; and Taco Bell probably would be included in future Clark Oil Co. projects.

Clark Oil started with a bulk plant in Sandpoint about 50 years ago and expanded to Coeur d’Alene in 1981. The company has four card-lock facilities and built a convenience store on Highway 41 at Poleline Avenue last year. With the Athol store, the company will have more than 50 employees.

The new store will accompany a major highway revision that will include turn lanes and a traffic signal. Signals also will be installed on Highway 41 at the Hayden and Prairie Avenue crossings.

Here’s a pack of tidbits:

The ancient catalpa tree that was saved by the replanning of the new Boston Market in Coeur d’Alene bloomed gloriously in early July. Each blossom in the cluster closely resembles a small orchid. It’d be nice if the tree could be wisely pruned since the company went to the trouble to save it.

The Young Marines of North Idaho provided a fine gesture as they picked up litter along the Coeur d’Alene parade route on July 4. Hats off to leader Josh McKay. Groups raising funds should solicit monetary pledges for each bag of litter they gather or each hour they volunteer in a nursing home rather than how many games they bowl or how many hours they teeter-totter in a shopping center.

Good luck if you need detailed information from a local post office. The local numbers are all now handled by an 800 number in Utah. It takes you through a series of recordings that may provide the information you need to mail or pick up something. We needed information on the new substation along Seltice Way in Post Falls. No way, Jose.

With the new Hollywood Video store going into the Fred Meyer complex in Coeur d’Alene, the yellow pages list 42 video places in North Idaho. Not surprisingly, this is beaten by the 48 listings of pizza places. Ironically missing is a bonafide pizza place in a handy location in downtown Coeur d’Alene. A pizza-by-the-slice place would make it there.

The pavement relining and increased speed limit along Northwest Boulevard in Coeur d’Alene has raised some concerns. The bike lanes are more hazardous, creating an awkward bottleneck for the booming Centennial Trail. Advocates hope that someday this portion of the trail will be adjacent to the Spokane River. Someday residents may recognize the jewel they have in their exercise trail systems. In Seattle, for example, housing prices are greatly increased if they are near the exercise trails.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Review

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