Riverfront Living – Not Just For the Wealthy
In the last few years, a great deal of the property that has been developed along the Spokane River waterfront in Coeur d’Alene has been used to build high-end single-family homes. From the standpoint of a developer, this is understandable. First of all, the property is expensive to acquire. Secondly, when you have premium real estate with beautiful views, direct river access, and close proximity to a town, you can be confident that people will pay handsomely for a nice home in this location. And this has been borne out: the homes along the Spokane River in Coeur d’Alene have a market value considerably north of a million dollars.
While there are some multi-family properties in the area that are within walking distance of the river, they are set back some distance. Instead, from Coeur d’Alene and west to Post Falls, the best views and direct access are primarily set aside for well-heeled private owners, with a few public access points and a few parks sprinkled along the way. The most prominent public area is Atlas Mill Park, which stretches from Riverstone Park down to the Atlas Mill development. This is already a very popular destination for locals and visitors alike, with a public parking lot, a small park with a playground, swimming areas, walking and biking trails, and several beaches. It is also accessible from Coeur d’Alene’s extensive trail system.
While the Atlas Mill Park and beach are well-designed and much appreciated by the entire community, it is hard for some of the local, long-time residents to be entirely comfortable with the shift in the general tenor of the area. As large, modern, expensive houses are erected one by one, it is a bit hard to believe that the entire area was the site of an operating logging mill less than 20 years ago.
The trade-off – from a waning logging mill site to a venue for exclusive homes in high demand – is a pretty fortunate one for the City of Coeur d’Alene. The area is experiencing a boom that is bringing in a lot of welcome economic activity, and the fact that Coeur d’Alene continues to be a desirable relocation destination is shoring up local businesses.
However, given the history of this northern Idaho locale, one might reasonably ask: should all the riverfront property be developed for the exclusive enjoyment of the wealthy? Shouldn’t those who have called Coeur d’Alene home for years be able to enjoy riverfront living too?
This question is one that the developers of River’s Edge have contemplated. And they concluded that their development should try to buck the pattern.
Riverfront Living for Regular Joes
The current plan for the River’s Edge development, which has already been approved by the City of Coeur d’Alene and is under construction, has several components. The 25-acre property will have several apartment buildings, a commercial storage unit business, and 28 single-family homes with private docks along the riverfront portion of the property. Now, River’s Edge is planning to go back to the city with a new proposal.
The proposal would completely eliminate the single-family residential and commercial storage unit components of the project and redesign the plot to include more multi-family housing. The key feature of the new project will be the creation of a 40-foot wide public-access riverfront esplanade along the entire length of the property. The public access portion will serve both apartment residents as well as the general public and will entail the construction of a fully landscaped walking/biking trail, seating areas, picnic tables, and beach access points, as well as several boat slips for local residents to use.
River’s Edge envisions a new approach to the Spokane River waterfront in Coeur d’Alene, giving regular, year-round working residents the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of riverfront living. Apartment tenants would be able to fully benefit from the riverfront location of the property, from pleasing mountain views to full access to water activities like boating, swimming, paddle boarding, and jet-skiing. Additionally, pathways from Seltice Avenue, as well as access from both the east and west sides of the development would further enhance the ability of residents to enjoy other attractions along the riverfront, including the Centennial Trail, Atlas Mill Park, and Riverstone.
While other apartment homes have been built along the Seltice Way corridor, none provide full and direct access to the Spokane River waterfront. At River’s Edge, we believe the new proposal would provide a welcome change to the usual run of apartment housing, which often has to take a back seat to more desirable locations. Instead, we want tenants and their families, as well as local residents, to fully enjoy what the Spokane River has to offer in the way of recreation and beauty.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the River’s Edge plan being proposed to the City of Coeur d’Alene, please look through the information and maps on our website. We hope you will consider supporting our proposal before the Coeur d’Alene City Council.