Affordable Across America: Northwest

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3 min read

50 Projects for 50 Years

PROJECT: Ridpath Club Apartments | Spokane, WA
Completed 2018
DEVELOPER: Ridpath Owners, LLC; Spokane, WA
FAVORITE OF: Ronne Thielen, Executive Vice President, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, R4 Capital
DESCRIPTION: The original Ridpath Hotel was destroyed by fire and then rebuilt in 1952 as Spokane’s first modern high rise. With the adjacent YWCA building annexed, it served as a conference hotel. The hotel ceased operation in 2006 and the building was divided into approximately 30 condo ownerships, but many parcels fell into bankruptcy during the Great Recession, leaving this iconic structure as a source of blight, crime and graffiti. Plans to revive the historic building began in 2012 and by May 2017 plans were in place and all financing had been secured to redevelop it. The City of Spokane and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission committed substantial residual receipts loans; R4 Capital and R4 Capital Funding committed equity for the Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation Tax Credits and construction and permanent tax-exempt financing.

Today, the Ridpath offers 206 apartments (micro, studio and one-bedroom units), of which 184 are affordable (incomes at or below 60 percent area median income) and the remainder market rate, as well as privately-owned condos on the top two floors and a public restaurant at street level.

The complexity of this transaction was daunting. Given R4’s deep experience with complicated transactions, we ensured the development team was able to accomplish their vision to redeem an iconic building, help revitalize this section of downtown and provide desperately needed affordable housing in a mixed-income/mixed-use environment. Witnessing the Ridpath and the neighborhood come back to life with residents happily interacting within and without the building is immensely gratifying!”  —RONNE THIELEN

PROJECT: Trailside Heights | Anchorage, AK
Opened in 2013
DEVELOPER: Volunteers of America; Alexandria, VA
FAVORITE OF: Mark Romick, Deputy Executive Director, Alaska Housing Finance Corp.
DESCRIPTION: Trailside Heights is a brand new neighborhood in South Anchorage, AK, featuring more than 120 units of two- and three-bedroom townhomes and senior housing. It is a Low Income Housing Tax Credit project built in a higher-income neighborhood with good schools and close to services.

Trailside Heights stands out for its community impact. The units are energy efficient using supplemental solar energy and the community mixes 120 affordable family units with 20 senior units. It is the first project to take advantage of a change in the State QAP, which prioritized building new LIHTC deals in higher income neighborhoods.” —MARK ROMICK

Pamela Martineau is a freelance writer based in Portland, ME. She writes primarily about housing, local government, technology and education.
Mark Fogarty has covered housing and mortgages for more than 30 years. A former editor at National Mortgage News, he has written extensively about tax credits.