ARCH Community Housing

The ARCH Community Housing Trust’s plan for Blaine Manor earned acclaim from the Hailey city council this week.

The Blaine Manor Senior and Family Community development was cleared for construction Monday night after the Hailey City Council unanimously approved ARCH Community Housing Trust’s planned-unit development application for the project.

    The groundbreaking date will be this summer, ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith said.

    Situated at the bend in Main Street by the Campion Ice House, the 72,500-square-foot development will house 60 units in total, 30 in a senior building for residents 55 and older and 30 in a family building. Monthly rent for the one- and two-bedroom senior units will likely range from $370 to $960, Griffith said, and two- and three-bedroom family units will run from $790 to $1,110.

    Of the total units, 55 will be reserved for residents earning between 30 and 60 percent of Hailey’s median income—around $47,000 for a household, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.   

    “I hope that you’ll look at the investments we’ve secured and the 60 units of much-needed affordable housing, and celebrate what we’ve been able to do here,” Griffith said prior to the council verdict.

    Blaine Manor has received around $15 million in funding from several sources, Griffith said, five of which are federal. Last year, the Blaine County Commissioners also donated the land, and supplemental funding. Other sources include low-income tax credits, 4 percent bonds, Affordable Housing Program money and other federally incentivized funding sources.

    On Monday, each Hailey councilmember lauded ARCH’s design team for addressing the community’s housing needs.

    “You have done a commendable job,” Councilwoman Kaz Thea said.  “I will be very proud of this development,”

    Mayor Martha Burke said she was enthusiastic about the concept of seniors and families living on the same site.

    “I think for a lot of seniors, watching children play can be rewarding, and there will be a lot of good relationships built—grandparent-type figures for young people,” she said. “I don’t want to stand in the way of this project moving forward.”

    Councilman Sam Linnet called Blaine Manor Hailey’s “most important” active land-use development project.

    “Sixty units is huge for our city. Prior to the economic downturn, we already had a housing crisis, and things are going to get worse before they get better,” he said.

    Councilwoman Heidi Husbands said Blaine Manor was a “terrific” and “much needed” project, but voiced concern over the lack of a stoplight on Maple Street.

    “Cars attempting to turn south is an accident waiting to happen, especially because of the sight line around the curve. However, I believe the city will find a reasonable solution to the traffic circulation issues for [the project] before it’s completed,” she said.

    ARCH expects Blaine Manor to be completed by fall 2021, Griffith said. Next steps include hiring a general contractor and holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    “ARCH is thrilled to be moving forward on this very important development,” Griffith told the Express. “We’re very grateful for all the community support we’ve received—and to Blaine County for donating the land, and to the city of Hailey and the Urban Renewal Agency for their work. In addition to needed affordable housing, this investment will deliver $15 million to the local economy.”

    Also approved by the council Monday night was a nine-unit, federally funded ARCH Community Housing Trust development near the intersection of Woodside Boulevard and Countryside Drive. Known as “Parcel O” at the moment, the one-acre property was allocated to the Housing Trust in November.

    The upcoming development—which will soon be named—will accommodate residents earning between 30 and 80 percent of area median income, Griffith said.

    Under an agreement with ARCH, the city will designate the housing for city employees and others who work in Hailey by giving those applicants the right of first refusal.

    “Monday was a big night for me,” Grif-fith said.

Other projects

    The Hailey City Council opted last week to postpone the proposed Sunbeam subdivision’s planned-unit development and preliminary-plat hearings to May 19, citing a lack of time for discussion.

    The 54-acre subdivision—slated for construction on an agricultural field between Myrtle Street and Quigley Drive—will accommodate a wide variety of single-family homes and townhouses, 145 units in total. The neighborhood will also feature a 9.14-acre public park bordering Curtis Park, with bike-path connections to Old Cutters subdivision and Quigley Road.

    Proposed by local developer Marathon Partners, the Sunbeam concept is centered around themes of preservation, water conservation and community. The park will incorporate native grasses and encourage “natural play” with large boulders and logs, Ketchum-based landscape architect Ben Young said. Sixty to 70 percent of the total land area of each residential lot will be either drought-tolerant or “hardscaped” with stone to reduce watering needs, he said, and the lots’ narrow cuts will allow for front-facing porches and private backyards.

    City feedback on the subdivision has been predominantly positive in recent months, though concerns over traffic and irrigation have lingered. While proposed road connections at Gray’s Starlight Drive, San Badger Drive and Doc Bar drive haven’t generated much controversy, the impact the development would have on two nearby intersections—Main and Myrtle streets and Main and Bullion streets—has raised questions in public-comment sessions. The developer is also proposing a connection to the municipal potable water system rather than a private irrigation system, which will likely have an impact on water supply. (To reduce the subdivision’s impact on the system, the developer has offered the city a $200,000 cash contribution to build a new well, anticipated to be installed on-site.) Both the traffic and water issues will be further explored Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

    Two other affordable housing projects in Hailey are currently in their construction phase: the Silver River Residences on west Silver Street and the Sweetwater Community expansion project on Shenandoah Drive.

    The Silver River Residences will be on the northeast corner of Silver and River streets in the city’s Downtown Residential Overlay District, about a two-minute walk from downtown Hailey. The three-story, 16-unit residential complex received unanimous support from the Planning and Zoning Commission in March.  

    According to project architect Susan Scovell, representing applicants Gary Poole and Kiki Tidwell, the development will cater to a variety of apartment layouts with nine two-bedrooms, five one-bedrooms and two small studios.

    “What we tried to do here is provide housing for a cross-section of the community,” Poole said.

    Exterior amenities planned for the Silver River Residences include an outdoor communal green space with picnic facilities and 16 parking spaces. To help assimilate with surrounding developments, the complex—designed under a single roof—will be divided into five sections.

    Apartment units will fall between around 330 and 760 square feet, Scovell said, featuring “Juliet”-style balconies and ample natural light. According to renderings, the buildings’ exteriors will incorporate stucco, natural wood and steel siding with rust accents.

    Poole said another core component of the development is its energy-efficient design. Solar panels and solar shading will likely further that goal, he said.

    “Our idea is that everyone in this community would feel included and involved with saving energy,” he said.

    Across town, the Sweetwater Community is undergoing an expansion of 116 units, seven of which are designated live-work spaces.

    The expansion, approved by the P&Z in December, is following a four-phase construction plan, project manager Kameron Spencer said. A cluster of townhomes, condominiums and live-work units is being built at the corner of Countryside and Shenandoah.

    According to Spencer, the new three-bedroom condos will sell for around $259,000, three-bedroom townhomes will sell for around $310,000 and live-work units will sell for about $390,000.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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