Blaine Manor rendering

The Blaine County commissioners on Tuesday finalized a transfer of the Blaine Manor property in Hailey, completing a deal that had been in the works for years.

The commissioners approved a deed to transfer the lot to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. The land will be used by ARCH Community Housing Trust for a 60-unit affordable housing development; 30 of those units will be for seniors.

“I firmly believe that housing is a key cog in our economy and our recovery,” Commissioner Dick Fosbury said Tuesday before the vote.

After the closure of the skilled nursing facility that used to occupy the Blaine Manor property, the county unsuccessfully attempted in 2015 to auction the land off—leaving the county free, under Idaho law, to dispose of the property by other means. The county then considered proposals from several potential buyers and approved one, but that deal fell through.

Idaho law allows the county to transfer property to another political subdivision with or without compensation if the transfer is in the public interest. Last week, county commissioners passed a resolution formally declaring that the transfer of the lot to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association is in the public interest.

ARCH has proposed a 72,000-square-foot development that will consist of a senior apartment building and a family apartment building. Monthly rent for the one- and two-bedroom senior units is expected to range from $370 to $960, and two- and three-bedroom family units will likely cost between $790 and $1,110. Fifty-five units will be reserved for people who earn between 30 and 60 percent of Hailey’s median income.

The senior building will also include three market-rate units.

ARCH has procured about $15 million via a number of avenues, including the IHFA, low-income tax credits and federal sources, ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith told the Idaho Mountain Express in April. In addition to the land, Blaine County also pledged $500,000 to the project.

ARCH expects to break ground this summer and to complete the project by fall 2021, Griffith said last month.

Commission candidate Kiki Tidwell, who will face Commissioner Jacob Greenberg in November, said during the public comment period at Tuesday’s meeting that she disagreed with the commission’s decision, believing that the county should instead keep the land.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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