Silver River Place

Silver River units range in price from $687 for a studio to $1,750 for a two bedroom.

An affordable 16-unit, energy-conscientious apartment building will open June 15 at 402 N. River St. in Hailey with full occupancy.

The units at Silver River Place are being rented by local workers and the building is intended to be an inspiration to other potential developers of affordable housing, according to a press release from the group behind it.

That group comprises investors Kiki Tidwell and Gary and Caroline Poole, local architects Susan Scovell and Rebecca Bundy, and local builder Conrad Brothers Construction.

The building, with rents at “modest market rates,” is an all-electric, energy-efficient building, with solar panels on the roof, extra insulation, electric car charging outlets and battery energy storage.

“All consortium members wanted to provide a modest-rent, market solution to the lack of worker housing, and all contributed in their own spheres to making this building a reality,” the press release states. “Moreover, the consortium wanted to show other investors that there are opportunities right here in our valley to build housing with financial investment returns along with social-goals ‘mission’ returns.”

Property Manager Jon Gilmour of Sawtooth Properties said rents for the building, which include all utilities and high-speed internet, are $687 for a studio, $1,130 for a one-bedroom and $1,750 for a two-bedroom.

Tidwell and the Pooles will also work with investor Leonard McIntosh and his family foundation in a project to develop the four city lots north of Silver River Place in an extension of the existing project, according to the announcement.

The release also notes that Gary Poole and Paul Conrad, owners of painting and construction businesses, were keenly aware of how difficult it has been to attract employees without a lot of housing options that fit worker salaries. The group of renters in the new building includes a mix of occupations.

Scovell has previously donated her architectural time to nonprofits, most recently the Men’s Recovery Center, and she has kept architectural fees to a minimum on this project, the release states. Bundy has contributed her expertise in sustainable and energy-efficient design. Conrad worked alongside the architectural team to design a building that maximized construction efficiencies to keep the rents as low as possible, and job foreman Ben Parker kept the job running smoothly on schedule amidst the challenges of COVID.

Tidwell, a recent candidate for Blaine County commissioner and a longtime local renewable energy activist, said she believes buildings should be built without fossil fuels altogether in a new normal of “electrify everything.”

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