SPOKANE, Wash. - While areas of Downtown are flourishing, others sit undeveloped, like the stretch of town where construction of the Ridpath has been delayed for years. But, developer Ron Wells believes he's finally in the home stretch to get things started.
"There's so many people who are enthusiastic and supportive about this project," Wells said.
By the end of March, the Spokane City Council is expected to approve a $2 million loan for the Ridpath that must be used for affordable housing. Wells is also seeking another $2 million loan from the Washington State Housing Finance commission.
"It will give us the money to make this a beautiful building. Not overly luxurious, but beautiful," said Wells.
Businesses in the area also hope the new Ridpath apartments will help bring new life to the area.
"I think it'd do great for this side of downtown and especially just the whole block," said Nehemiah Zylar, bar manager at The Observatory. The Observatory is just doors away from the Ridpath, and one of the only businesses open on the block. The bar says it can be a struggle trying to run a business when peopel are afraid to even walk down your block.
"I usually send customers two blocks down and then, you know, I'm like 'stay away from the riff raff of the Ridpath,'" Zylar said.
The Ridpath will include micro-apartments, studios and one-bedroom apartments. Residents who live in a majority of the units will have to make between $20,000 to $ 29,000 a year. Wells said there's always a plan-b, but this is a project he's passionate about.
"We could do luxury condos, we could do luxury apartments like other buildings. But, this is more socially responsible and there's a lot of support to do this," Wells said.
With approval from the council, Wells expects the project to begin April 6th, and be completed by April of next year.
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