Atlas Log
 
A collection of news to date regarding the Atlas Waterfront Project. This rolling log of happenings surrounding the project will be updated regularly and will include relevant links for more information.
 
Initial City Council decision approves moving forward to purchase of the property from Bad Axe, LLC, with a due diligence period through mid-September 2017 and a purchase price of $7.85 million if sale closes by October 25, 2017.
 
 
 
 
May 2 Council Meeting Video (Starts at 53:54) 
 
 
The due diligence committee comprised both officials and staff members of the City of Coeur d'Alene, ignite CDA, and Welch Comer Engineering in a facilitation capacity.
 
Members included Mayor Steve Widmyer, City Councilmembers Amy Evans and Dan Gookin, City Administrator Jim Hammond, Deputy City Administrator Sam Taylor, City Planning Director Hilary Anderson, City Attorney Mike Gridley, City Finance Director Troy Tymesen, ignite CDA Executive Director Tony Berns, ignite CDA Commission Chairman Scott Hoskins, ignite CDA Commissioner Mic Armon, ignite CDA Attorney Danielle Quade. Welch Comer Engineer Phil Boyd served as faciliator of committee meetings.
 
The committee focused on initial research on issues related to financing the purchase and property improvements, environmental assessments, preparing property annexation into the City limits, and general planning and land use issues.
 
The City Council directed ignite CDA during a joint workshop to move forward with planning to expand the River urban renewal district onto a portion of the property and to begin work to create a new urban renewal district for another portion of the property due to size restrictions of current district boundary extensions.
 
May 25, 2017 Due Diligence & Urban Renewal District Boundaries Discussion (City/ignite CDA Joint Workshop Minutes, Page 1) 

While the existing River District urban renewal district managed by ignite CDA could be extended to about 30 acres of the property, the remaining acreage would need to be included in a new urban renewal district.

ignite CDA board members unanimously settled on "Atlas District" for this new urban renewal district.

July 19, 2017 ignite CDA Meeting Minutes (Page 9)

July 19, 2017 ignite CDA Meeting Video (Starts at 15:04)

Executive Director Tony Berns provided a detailed overview of initial draft planning for extending the boundaries of the River urban renewal district and creation of the new Atlas urban renewal district on to the Atlas Waterfront site. The urban renewal districts on this site could help fund pay back of the City's initial property purchase, assist with construction of public infrastructure like roads and utilities, environmental remediation if necessary, site preparation, and waterfront access improvements. As part of this work, economic forecast modeling would be generated to assess viability of providing such assistance over time.
 
ignite CDA commissioners also approved the hiring of Kushlan Consulting to provide a third party review of the economic forecast models associated with the expanded River District and new Atlas District plans while Due Diligence Committee work continued.
 
 
 ignite CDA Executive Director Tony Berns provided an overview of the draft economic forecasting created to assess viability of supporting the City's Atlas Waterfront project. Draft modeling indicated potential future revenues withing the urban renewal districts could support payback of the City's initial purchase payment, supporting public infrastructure improvements such as roads and utilities, and site preparation. Based on the initial modeling, very little funding would be available to fully enhance with amenities any permanently pubilc portions of the property.
 
 Though the video initially provided an update working toward finalizing due diligence work to complete the purchase, the post would be updated later that day after a Due Diligence Committee meeting in which it was recommended more time was needed to ensure more assessment could be done. 
 
 Executive Director Tony Berns re-reviewed economic modeling done to assess whether the urban renewal agency could soundly support the Atlas Waterfront project. Based on feedback from Kushlan Consulting, it was recommended more time was needed to continue to review challenges and opportunities related to various economic issues.
 
The City Council heard from City staff and the state Department of Environmental Quality regarding what is known as a "Phase I" environmental assessment. The assessment analyzed the history of the site and, based on its past use as a lumber mill, there does not appear to be any major environmental concerns on the site.
 
Further environmental testing would be done in a Phase II to provide more detailed assessment. Both phases of assessment are paid for thanks to grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Redevelopment Program.
 
The Council also received a financial analysis overview from ignite CDA, which indicated that while the agency's urban renewal districts could assist with paying back the initial purchase price and would be able to provide funding for public infrastructure, there may not be sufficient funds to improve any public portions of the property. The ignite board recommended taking additional time for robust financial assessment.
 
City Council members and Mayor Steve Widmyer, noting community interest in acquisition of the property, suggested that more financial assessment could be done to help determine the cost of addtional public improvements, and voters could be asked to consider a bond.
 
After that discussion, the City Council unanimously approved finalizing purchase of the property, with an extension of the closing date to May 2018.
 
City Councilmember Kiki Miller provided an update on the new Atlas Waterfront Project management team creation and noted work to renovate the City's website section on the project. She shared that there are plans for early community involvement, including with numerous community organizations, to help seek community values and vision for the site. This community organization input and future communitywide engagement will be used as part of a financial analysis and market feasibility study assessing the property's various economic development opportunities and how they fit with that community vision and values. ignite CDA is in the process of seeking a consultant for this expert analysis.
 

 The Atlas Waterfront Project's website section regarding environmental review of the property has been updated to reflect the City's participation in the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's Brownfield's Assessment Program and the work done to date thanks to grant funding from DEQ.

See the updated section and the most recent finalized Phase I Environmental Assessment documentation at cdaid.org/atlasenvironmental.

The City of Coeur d’Alene and CDA 2030 are inviting a diverse array of community organizations to share their thoughts on the Atlas Waterfront Project as a first step to assess the property’s potential.

The community input process begins with a Community Organization Representative (COR) Vision meeting planned for February 2018. The COR Vision meeting will be facilitated by non-profit community organization CDA 2030. Groups are being identified based on themes within CDA 2030’s Community Vision document. Those identified so far are listed at cdaid.org/atlaswaterfront.

A new page has been placed on the Atlas Waterfront Project website section related to the COR Vision Group, its mission, a copy of the invitation, and the list of community groups identified to date.

A press release was issued discussing this initial community input process and noting that future communitywide public meetings will also be held.

Press Release: "CDA to begin seeking community input on Atlas Waterfront" - Issued December 20, 2017

 

 Mayor Steve Widmyer delivered his State of the City address January 9, discuss the City's purchase of the Atlas Waterfront property, the goals of the project, and next steps involving consultants hired by ignite CDA to conduct financial analysis and market feasibility of the project. He showcased the Atlas Waterfront introduction video, explaining the project, its goals, and the committment to community engagement.
 
 
 The City of Coeur d'Alene, ignite CDA, and CDA 2030 want to thank participants of the February 7 Community Organization Representative Vision Group meeting for taking time out of their busy lives to help the community build an initial base line of vision and values for the Atlas Waterfront property.
 
Nearly 50 organizations sent representatives to the meeting, designed to both provide education on the project but also ask polling questions to help better understand how these organizations, which represent thousands of communit members in Coeur d'Alene, view the tradeoffs and balancing act of the project's two main goals - economic development and permanent public waterfront access.
 
For more information on the meeting, including to see polling results and to see who attended, visit www.cdaid.org/corvisiongroup.
 
http://www.cdapress.com/local_news/20180317/share_your_atlas_vision  
It's official.  The 47-acre Atlas Waterfront property is now owned by the City of Coeur d'Alene!  The City purchased the property for $7,850,000 and the sale was recorded on May 16th, making the sale official.  The City began the process of purchasing the property in May of 2017.
 
 
An Open House regarding the igniteCDA and City of Coeur d’Alene Atlas Waterfront / Riverstone Traffic Impact Study was held on September 12, 2018, in the North Idaho College Student Union Building (SUB), Driftwood Bay Room. Please click on the link below to give your thoughts to the Welch Comer team completing the study regarding traffic flow concerns or observations in the Riverstone area including on Seltice, Northwest Boulevard, and the I-90 ramps.  The team is in the data collection phase and welcomes your input which will be valuable in the upcoming phases of the project. Deadline for public comment is September 30, 2018.   For more information, call Melissa Cleveland at 208-664-9382.