TWIN FALLS — A Ketchum-based developer wants to offer a one-of-a-kind housing opportunity: fifth-story apartments overseeing the core of downtown Twin Falls.
Each for-sale apartment would include 1,800 square feet of living space, elevator and rooftop access, a deck and two parking spaces. But beware of sticker shock: it could cost the buyer $650,000.
That’s the vision Summit Creek Capital Managing Director Tyler Davis-Jeffers proposed to the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency on Monday. Summit Creek Capital now plans to construct an estimated $6.5 million building at the corner of Main Avenue South and Hansen Street South — the site of the old Idaho Youth Ranch building.
After 10 months of negotiation, the URA will continue working toward an agreement to sell the property to Summit Creek Capital for $100. The board took a second look at the proposal this week after Executive Director Nathan Murray expressed concerns about the project’s financing and a planned parking structure.
Davis-Jeffers told the board his financing was delayed by several months due to the federal government shutdown pushing back approval of a New Market Tax Credit. His solution for funding was to add a fifth story to the building to offer four housing units for sale.
“I think this is a really exciting solution,” URA board member Perri Gardner said.
As now planned, the building would have a first floor of office and retail spaces, a business office on the second floor, and two floors of rental units. The newly proposed fifth floor would have four higher-end apartments for sale.
“The structure was already tall,” Davis-Jeffers said about his earlier proposal. “It would be taller.”
The developer will have to apply for a special use permit because the structure would exceed the 50-foot height limit downtown.
Speaking on the company’s behalf, Fran Florence recognized that some people may have concerns about the building, as they seek to preserve the historical integrity of downtown.
“It’s OK to make a little bit of history, too,” Florence said. “We’re contributing to the future and respecting the past. I’m really confident that the extra building height will be embraced by the rest of the community.”
Florence and several URA board members also nodded to the success Summit Creek Capital have had downtown with the recent opening of the renovated Historic Elks Lodge, formerly the Historic Ballroom. The Milner’s Gate brewpub alone serves more than 300 people on a good day, Florence said.
Murray, however, was still concerned about a parking structure planned behind the building. An earlier estimate showed it could cost the URA around $2 million. The two-story parking structure would contain the same amount of public parking while creating parking for the businesses and apartments in the multi-use building.
Davis-Jeffers said he’s working to put a cap on what the structure would cost the URA, but he could not disclose the bid amount.
For now, the developer may also continue pursuing the New Market Tax Credit through community development corporation Mofi. Plus, it will likely take three to four months, and a public hearing, to secure a special use permit for the building height, Planning and Zoning Director Jonathan Spendlove said.
An agreement between the URA and Summit Creek Capital could potentially come before the board for final approval this spring.
Absent from Monday’s meeting were URA board members Cindy Bond and Doug Vollmer. Also at the meeting, the URA board:
- Approved the audited financial statements for FY 2018.
- Approved a resolution authorizing the filing of the 2018 Annual Report for the Urban Renewal Agency.
- Approved a feasibility study and an eligibility report resolution regarding a proposed revenue allocation area for nine tax parcels west of Washington Street South. The resolution goes to the City Council for final approval.
- Tabled a request to approve a memorandum of understanding between the URA and the city to execute design contracts for development near Washington Street South and Park Avenue.