town center falls
Express Staff Writer
town center proposal is dead in the water.
three-page report dated April 26, the Idaho Housing and Finance
Association denied the Blaine County Housing Authority’s application for
about $1 million in low-interest home loans and $1.7 million in tax
credits because the project failed to meet economic feasibility
application proposes 20 affordable housing units at a cost of $178,300 per
unit, or $286 per square foot. Considering the various subsidy sources,
the per unit subsidy to create each affordable unit is estimated to be
$177,210," wrote the association. "A recent affordable housing
development in Blaine County (Balmoral in Hailey) has been completed at
significantly lower per unit and per square foot costs, as well as with
substantially lower per unit subsidy."
association also cited an inability to "properly analyze" the
projected cash flow potential of town center’s proposed commercial
information provided to substantiate the commercial vacancy and lease
rates for the Ketchum market area was not independently verified,"
the association wrote.
Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon said the information contained in the report echoes
some of his own concerns with the proposed project, Housing Director Gates
Kellett said they are debatable points.
said she believes the project could be appealed, but Simon said the city
should move on.
the issue will be a topic for discussion at the Ketchum City Council’s
May 6 meeting at Ketchum City Hall at 5:30 p.m.
are many different segments of Ketchum that oppose it, and my feeling is
that we’d be better off recognizing that we went down the wrong
road," Simon said. "It’s time to turn around and go down the
right road, and start the process openly, with public hearings from the
Randy Hall said he was disappointed to hear that the financing fell
through, but he added that the city council learned many things in the
ran it up the flag pole, and all the public input we got will enable us to
create a better application in the future," he said.
pointed out an irony with the association’s denial.
large issue for them seems to be the expense to build, but that’s why we
applied to them. We’ll just have to continue to do everything we can to
get community housing in Ketchum. We need to continue doing what we’re