Historic Ridpath hotel to be turned into affordable housing

Historic Ridpath hotel to be turned into affordable housing

The historic Ridpath hotel will be turned into affordable housing in Spokane, which supporters say is critical.

The hotel has been rundown and abandoned for nearly a decade.

In a 5-1 vote Monday night, Spokane’s City Council approved an almost $2 million line of credit to help revamp the Ridpath.

“We hear it every day the lack of affordable housing we have in this community,” said Councilwoman Karen Stratton, City of Spokane. “We have an opportunity here to stand up and get a solution going.”

The money comes from a now-discontinued federal program and has to be used for affordable housing projects.

The council also granted the project a tax exemption for affordable housing.

Developer Ron Wells’ plan includes more than 200 apartments and 8 condos in the former hotel.

179 of those units are targeted toward young professionals making under $30,000 a year.

Rent would range from just over $400 for a micro apartment, which is about 250 square feet of living space, to $1,300 for a 2-bedroom loft.

“The Ridpath is the right place because of the historic nature, the number of units that we can create for a relatively low investment, and the fact that it’s not supported by great transportation and surrounding amenities,” said Jonathan Mallahan, Director of Neighborhood and Community Services.

The next step is to gain approval from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, which helps fund affordable housing construction.

If all goes well, Wells will close on the Ridpath on May 4.

Construction should start shortly after that.

It should take about 12 months, but units will be leased by floor so some will be move-in ready in less than a year.