‘We’re sitting ducks’: Local developers worry stay home order will lead to increase in crime

SPOKANE, Wash. — Local developers worry Washington’s stay home order to combat the spread of coronavirus will hurt the Spokane housing market in the short-term and the long run.

Realtor Chris Bornhoft is overseeing the construction of a South Hill apartment complex and says COVID-19 was already creating supply chain issues, which was the first domino to fall. Bornhoft tells 4 News Now a holdup on siding translated to a delay on lighting, since electricians were not able to run wires to install lights. Now, the complex is pretty much an empty shell and Bornhoft believes it has become a target for crime.

When two people jumped the fence in front of the complex March 27, he says that was the third time he dealt with trespassers that week. It would not be the last. Bornhoft says another person trespassed the next night. So far, he says nothing has been damaged, but he is concerned things will only get worse from here on out.

“We’re sitting ducks,” he says.

At this point, all he is hoping for is to get lights up in an effort to deter trespassers.

Bornhoft anticipates the statewide shutdown of nearly all residential and commercial construction projects — issued March 25 by Gov. Jay Inslee — will make Spokane’s tight housing market even tighter. Since other projects will likely restart around the same time, Bornhoft believes projects across Spokane will get backed up. At normal pace, he says, his complex would be complete July 1. Now, it is looking like it will be August or September before families can move in.