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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

The Dirt: Hundreds of housing units planned for Spokane Valley

The Spokane Housing Authority announced Thursday that it purchased land for a project that could bring more than 300 units of affordable housing to Spokane Valley.

According to county records, a deal was finalized on March 21 for the housing organization to purchase 12 separate plots totaling about 7.5 acres. County records show the land was purchased for almost $7 million.

The project will be assigned the address of 10003 E. Fourth Ave., just south of WinCo foods and the Spokane Valley Library.

According to Pamela Parr, executive director, the organization released a request for proposal for the project on Wednesday. The document solicits the work of a turnkey developer, meaning a company that will plan, design and construct the project.

“Our acquisition of the Appleway site underscores our dedication to creating inclusive and sustainable communities where individuals, seniors and families of diverse backgrounds can thrive,” Parr said in a news release. “By leveraging partnerships and innovative approaches, we aim to address the diverse needs of our community and enhance accessibility to essential services.”

Proposal documents said the organization anticipates the project to include at least 250 dwelling units, though the capacity of the site is likely, “in excess of 300 units depending upon size and configuration.”

Units will be income-restricted to ensure affordability, with rent prices set at levels to enable households to thrive economically, according to a release from the organization.

The proposal also asks for the project to include modern amenities and recreation areas comparable to market rate housing and a child care or early learning facility. Priority tenants are workers and seniors, the organization said in the proposal.

Construction of the project is scheduled to commence in the fall of 2025, with completion anticipated in spring 2027, according to the organization.

The deadline for contractors to submit a bid for the project is May 8. The housing authority will select a contractor by May 31, the proposal read.

Redband Apartments

Plans have been submitted to the city of Spokane to build two apartment buildings, each containing 24 units, adjacent to Spokane Falls Community College.

The plans are part of the second phase of a project on around 13 acres of land at 1620 N. River Ridge Blvd. Master plans submitted to the city show that the development could include up to 16 total buildings.

The property is zoned to allow spaces of mixed use, according to its owner, Dave Black.

“It’s a nice site. We have a short plat approved for eight potential projects,” Black said. “We hope to have some mixed use and provide some neighborhood services but it will mainly be housing. That’s where the need is.”

The first phase included two apartment buildings that were completed in July of last year, according to city records.

The second phase will include another two buildings that will primarily consist of two and three bedroom units, Black said. This was a reaction to feedback from his company, Black Realty Management, Inc., which manages the two existing buildings.

“We were hoping to get more students,” he said. “But we mainly had families and people from the community.”

Though it has not been decided, Black anticipates some units will be made affordable to qualify the property for the city of Spokane’s multifamily tax exemption.

According to city records, each building of the second phase will span about 19,000-square-feet and cost around $2.6 million, though Black said the cost estimate may vary greatly.

Amenities will include walking trails and potentially access to the Spokane River that is just south of the property. Black and his team are working with the neighborhood homeowners association to allow for easy access to the river.

Subsequent phases of the project will come slowly as Black prefers a more calculated approach to development that is more responsive to market conditions, he said.

“There is no bad real estate,” he said. “You just got to live long enough.”