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.
A study by Idaho Department of Labor economist Matthew Paskash analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on health care workers by comparing pre-pandemic, current and projected data in the areas of employment and wages, job postings, health care program completions and Idaho Department of Labor occupational and industry projections. The study also examines additional insights from stakeholder interviews and a survey of health care workers.
This analysis concludes with an anticipated near-to-medium-term outlook of shortages of health care practitioners in Idaho. To combat these shortages, the state may explore efforts in attracting health care workers, expanding education and training programs, and stemming the outflow of health care practitioners to other states.
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
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
Labor productivity is an important indicator for not just the labor market but Idaho’s overall economy. Wages are closely linked to labor’s marginal product, or the last unit of revenue produced from the last unit of labor employed. When markets are competitive and lack any frictions that impede price adjustments, wage and productivity growth will be equal.
If productivity increases at a high growth rate and appears to continue for the foreseeable future (for example, continued investments in research and development, improved education and workforce training), it might be inferred that wages will grow at a similar pace; if productivity is expected to grow at a negligible rate or decline, however, wages can be expected to move similarly.
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
The nonprofit urban planning and community development organization, CDA 2030, published a new “Vision and Implementation Plan” for the greater Coeur d’Alene community. The plan outlines 134 actions and recommendations related to housing, park space, conservation and other quality-of-life items for the area. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
North Idaho College received a $524,000 grant from the Idaho Workforce Development Training Fund to support its Workforce Training Center. The grant will fund apprenticeship programs for tradespeople and heavy equipment operators in the construction industry. The goal is to help meet the region’s enormous need for construction labor. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press