SPOKANE, Wash. - There have been many attempts to redevelop the Ridpath Hotel in Spokane, but now a plan to revitalize the building is moving forward.
In a 5-1 vote, Spokane's City Council approved a $1.75 million line of credit to help developer Ron Wells revamp the Ridpath, turning the historic hotel into affordable housing. It's a need supporters say is critical.
“We hear it everyday the lack of affordable housing we have in this community. We have an opportunity here to stand up and get a solution going,” Spokane City Councilwoman Karen Stratton said in support of the project.
The money comes from a now discontinued federal program and is designated to be used for affordable housing projects. The council also granted the project a tax exemption.
Wells' plan includes more than 200 apartments and eight condos in the former hotel. Nearly 180 of those units are targeted toward young professionals making under $30,000 per year. Rent would range from just over $400 for a micro-apartment, about 250 sq. ft. of living space, to $1,300 for a two bedroom loft.
“The Ridpath was the right place because of the historic nature, because of the number of units that we can create for a relatively low investment, and the fact that it's supported by great transportation and surroudning amenities,” Jonathan Mallahan, Director of Neighborhood and Community Services for the City of Spokane, said.
The next step is to gain approval from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, which will make a decision on Thursday.
If all goes well, Well will close on the Ridpath May 4 and construction will start shortly after.
The project should take about 12 months to complete, but units will be leased by floor so some will be move-in ready in less than a year.