COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — As Tully and Theresa Dupree took the final walk-through of the home they agreed to purchase on North Atlas Road, they did not have buyer’s remorse.
This 3,300-square-foot, mountain-modern-design home with plenty of windows, a view of the Spokane River and a stone’s throw of the North Idaho Centennial Trail, was soon to be theirs, as reported by our partners, The Coeur d'Alene Press.
“I love the house,” Tully Dupree said.
Being close to shopping, restaurants, downtown and water access were some of the reasons they wanted to live there.
The Duprees owned property across from Atlas Waterfront Park as it was being developed and like the way it turned out.
The housing development is equally as appealing, he said.
“It’s a great location,” Dupree said.
The $3.1-million home with a three-car garage was among the first to be completed and sold in the Atlas Waterfront development that has seen homes rising tall over the past year in phase one.
It calls for about 110-single-family homes, 250 multi-family homes and nearly 200 townhomes, according to ignitecda, the city's urban renewal agency.
Most homes are well over $1 million.
It will also include about 20,000 square feet of commercial, retail and restaurant space. A large brewer has reportedly committed to building there.
The mix-used development is popular, with many lots already sold.
“I think we have a huge demand out there for these type of products,” said Tony Berns, executive director of ignitecda. “I have no doubt all those homes will be sold.”
Nick Forsberg is co-owner of Atlas Building Group, a custom home builder, said of 26 lots in the development that Atlas owns, about 20 are sold.
“All the ones that are framed up are spoken for,” he said.
Forsberg said some of the homes have high-end features, even elevators, which means they take longer to build.
“But I think it's a nicer product in the end,” he said.
He said one reason for its popularity is there is not much waterfront land in Coeur d’Alene. So when it comes up for sale, it goes fast.
“They’re only making so much,” Forsberg said. “After this is done, I don't know where else you can find something like this with a water view in town.”
In 2018, the city agreed to purchase the 47-acre riverfront parcel that was once home to the Atlas Mill, which closed in 2005, for $7.9 million.
The project size was increased to approximately 70 acres by including a triangle parcel, acquired through a land exchange, and vacating un-used road right-of-way along the south side of Seltice Way, according to the city.
In 2020, the Coeur d’Alene City Council voted to approve a transfer agreement on Atlas Mill property to ignitecda.
The plan was then and continues to be to develop it into a multi-use area to promote economic development.
One cash-flow projection predicts just under $10 million in anticipated land sales going back to the city by the end of 2025.
It's considered an extension of sorts of the nearby Riverstone project, a combination of homes and commercial where people can live, work and play.
Atlas Waterfront Park, a 4,000-foot stretch on the Spokane River, opened in late 2020, with a dog park, playground, walking trails, kayak launch and ADA river access.
Housing is in demand.
Ignitecda said Coeur d’Alene consistently ranks among the top-10 small real estate markets in the United States. In 2021, the city ranked sixth out of 201 small cities surveyed on the basis of various job and wage growth metrics.
“Employers, retirees, and young families alike are drawn to Coeur d’Alene for its quality of life though housing affordability as emerged as a concern in recent years,” according to a market overview.
“Residential demand continues to be high across product types. Trends described by local realtors influencing the sustained demand for residential property in Coeur d’Alene include cost of living, quality of life, and lower regulation generally in the Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d’Alene MSA relative to other popular markets in the western United States.”
Darren Miller, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker, represented the Duprees. He expects to see transactions close on more homes every week.
He believes the development is “exactly what Coeur d’Alene needed.”
Miller said people will pay for the North Idaho dream to be on the river, near downtown and businesses and easy access to recreational activities.
“There’s some good vision down here,” Miller said.
Michelle Garcia, Realtor with lakecdarealestate.com and Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, Inc., represented the seller of the N. Atlas Road home purchased by the Duprees. It was the first home in the neighborhood that was both completed and available for sale.
“I truly do think this is Coeur d'Alene's most exciting new neighborhood,” she said.
The area "has it all. Look at the view, It's gorgeous," Garcia said, as she glanced toward the river.
She there is strong interest from locals and newcomers.
“It's definitely a lifestyle. Your daily life is going to be different here than living even five or 10 minutes away,” she said.
Living at Atlas means you don't have to get in your car to go a nice restaurant, go to the movies, meet friends for drinks, hop on your bike or play with the kids in the river.
"There's a lot to offer," Garcia said.
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