The Idaho Department of Lands purchased 18,050 acres of timberland spread around the five northern Idaho counties. The land, acquired for $50.4 million, will support state endowment beneficiaries, especially Idaho’s public schools, and boost long-term timber sales. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Great Homes of Idaho is now operating in Post Falls. A builder of manufactured and modular homes, Great Homes started in Missoula and has now expanded to northern Idaho. This new supply of affordable housing is greatly desirable, with Kootenai County experiencing serious shortages of workforce housing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Coeur d’Alene Airport is evaluating adding a commercial terminal. The current proposal would permit Avports, an airport operations management firm based in Virginia, to construct a new terminal, which would service commercial flights connecting northern Idaho to regional locations like Boise and Seattle. A measure is currently before the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners which would approve a 25-year lease for the project. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Hayden City Council denied a zoning amendment which would have allowed for a new subdivision to be built on the arterial Ramsey and Hayden intersection. Council members cited serious traffic concerns. The city’s capital improvement plan has already identified the intersection as a priority for improvement. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Northern Idaho ended the year with labor demand still at elevated levels amid pressing labor shortages. Job posting data from The Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine data series showed nearly 21,000 job postings in the Coeur d’Alene metro area in 2022 – a significant increase over past years. The year ended with over 3,500 unfilled jobs in the region.
A 26,000-square-foot facility for Hayden Surgery Center is under construction in Hayden. The facility will include an orthopedic urgent care, physical therapy office and an outpatient surgery center with four operating rooms. The surgery center is scheduled to open in September.
Idaho continues to be one of the youngest states in the nation with a median age of 36.8 years, ranking seventh according to recently released results from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017-2021 American Community Survey.
This is an increase of 3.1% from the previous Census demographic survey, which covered the 2012-2016 population of the 50 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s median age grew the fastest at 9.4% and North Dakota was the slowest with no change.
Other data on age, workforce characteristics, income, migration, and housing and households reveal more information about Idaho’s populace.
BNSF Railways opened its Sandpoint Junction Connector bridge nearly a year ahead of schedule and began running traffic across the bridge. The new bridge adds a second line across Lake Pend Oreille, addressing a critical transit bottleneck where multiple lines converge before crossing the lake. Source: CDA Press
A new preschool is under construction in Coeur d’Alene. Phase one construction of the Kinder Prep Learning Center is underway with a spring opening planned. The preschool will care for children ages 18 months to 5 years old. Kootenai County currently has substantial shortages of childcare availability. Source: CDA Press
A 20,000-square-foot professional building is under construction in Coeur d’Alene. The Prairie Professional building will offer suite sizes ranging from 2,200 to 10,000 square feet. The project is slated for completion in December 2023. Source: CDA Press
The city of Coeur d’Alene is exploring grant options to help pay for new mooring docks at the city’s popular Third Street docks. The current docks were installed in 2000 and have cost the city nearly $100,000 in repairs due to rotting timbers. The city Parks and Recreation Department is exploring a $500,000 project to replace the current timber docks with composite materials. Source: CDA Press
Idaho’s construction industry practically doubled employment over the past 10 years from 2011-2021, growing by 94% or 28,525 more workers. This is the largest percentage growth among Idaho industry sectors.
The construction industry stalled nationally and in Idaho during the Great Recession of December 2007 to June 2009. A slow construction recovery finally kicked in after jobs bottomed out in 2011 and 2012, with just under 30,000 in statewide employment.
Construction has always been a volatile industry with seasonal swings based on weather and business cycles affected by financing, consumer confidence and the national economy. Idaho’s construction employment history in Chart 1 cites longer expansionary periods than downturns over the past 20 years. The Great Recession recovery coincides with competitive hiring among most industries contributing to a well-documented labor shortage.
Northwest Specialty Hospital has sold its facilities and property to a Milwaukee-based investment company. The hospital will now be a tenant in the buildings which it formerly owned. The hospital is physician owned and opted to sell as many of the founding providers are nearing retirement and wish to sell their shares. Source: Journal of Business
The Athol Retail Park is expanding, with a variety of new businesses planned for the growing commercial zone. New businesses include a Northwest Specialty Hospital clinic, a physical therapy office and a variety of retail and restaurant establishments. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Josephs’ Clinic is now open in Post Falls. The new clinic treats ear, nose, throat and allergy conditions and offers relevant outpatient procedures and surgeries. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
North Idaho College is moving forward with its long-term expansion and renovation plans. Two openings were celebrated – including the expansion of the Meyer Health and Sciences Building and the grand opening of the new Dental Hygiene Clinic. The college’s trustees approved the purchase of additional adjacent residential property to support the college’s long-range strategic plans. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
A 27,000-square-foot surgical facility is being built in Hayden. The Hayden Surgery Center will provide outpatient and orthopedic surgery, physical therapy and minor emergency services. Source: Journal of Business
North Idaho College’s Dental Hygiene program opened a new community dental clinic on the college’s main campus. The clinic will offer low-cost dental cleanings while helping dental hygiene students complete their clinicals to become register hygienists. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The North Idaho State Fair concluded its 10-day run with a record attendance. The fair saw 168,567 guests – a 9% increase from attendance in 2021. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The city of Coeur d’Alene is evaluating proposals to strengthen laws against short-term rentals, including civil penalties and dedicated enforcement. The city’s general services and public works committee cites the city’s well established housing crisis and severe shortage of available for-rent and for-sale homes as the need for these proposals. The committee seeks to curb the conversion of long-term rental properties to short-term rentals to combat the housing shortage. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Work has begun on a major Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) project to replace and upgrade the interchange between Interstate 90 and State Highway 41 in Post Falls. The current interchange, which includes three different traffic signals and intersections, has become a major traffic bottleneck as Post Falls has grown. The interchange will be replaced by a single intersection, which ITD believes will dramatically increase efficiency. Construction will be underway in phases until the summer of 2025. Source: Idaho Transportation Department
Kootenai Health has begun work on a $40 million expansion to its Heart Center, operating rooms and Kootenai Outpatient Surgery facilities. The expansion will add 37,000 square feet to the heart center, new laboratories and more patient rooms, which will allow the hospital to provide more same-day surgeries. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2023. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Construction has begun on an 18-story, 60-unit luxury condominium tower in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The tower, to be named The Thomas George, has an estimated value of $45 million and will have units ranging in price from $800,000 to $4 million. Source: Journal of Business
The city of Post Falls annexed nearly 90 acres of agricultural land and approved zoning changes to lay the groundwork for the development of a new commercial corridor, as well as infrastructure improvements related to the construction of a new charter school. Construction of the planned Kootenai Classical Academy — the first charter school in Post Falls — is expected to begin this fall. Source: Journal of Business
The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved a $10 million water tank project to prevent water supply issues in the northeastern quadrant of the city. Urban growth has begun to stress existing water infrastructure, and city staff have assessed the need to accelerate water projects to avoid water supply issues. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Schweitzer Mountain Resort has begun construction on resort improvements to create more efficient access to the mountain, including new roadways, 1,400 additional parking spaces and a new chairlift. This will be followed by future developments expanding the resort’s skiable terrain. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee
The 50-acre Millworx location in Post Falls is now under development and will include a 60-unit mixed use building — with both multi-family residential units and commercial spaces — 61 townhomes, a hotel and several commercial buildings. The development, formerly home to the Idaho Veneer Mill, is slated for completion in 2023. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Construction has begun on the planned 18-story Thomas George building in Coeur d’Alene. The building will eventually include 60 luxury condominiums and retail spaces on the ground floor. It is scheduled for completion in March 2024. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Kootenai Humane Society has begun construction on a new 20,000-square-foot shelter in Hayden. The new facility is expected to be completed by year-end. Source: Journal of Business