Atlas Waterfront vision taking shape after first citizen input

Posted: 2/21/2018 1:21:07 PM
An entirely public Spokane River waterfront appears to be widely supported for the Atlas Waterfront project site based on the first round of public input gathered for the project.

And more intensive development - such as a mix of housing types, smaller residential lots, or even buildings taller than 3 stories – may also be supported in exchange for improved open space and preservation of the entire shoreline for public use.

More than 30 percent of respondents during the February 7 Community Organization Representatives Vision Group meeting supported a multi-use path on the property’s waterfront. A near supermajority – some 62.16 percent – of participants also supported more intensive economic development if it helped generate funds for improved open space and to preserve all 3,600 feet of shoreline for the community.

More than 40 community organizations answered questions intended to help City officials and its partner urban renewal agency, ignite CDA, better determine what citizens’ vision and values for the property are. This COR Vision Group meeting, facilitated by CDA 2030 Chairperson Mike Kennedy and community volunteers, allowed a diverse array of organizations representing thousands of residents to provide base line information about the property and the project goals. The City is now working to plan other public input sessions, which will be open to all citizens.

The COR Vision Group information will be used by financial feasibility and market analysis experts Heartland, LLC of Seattle, Wash., and local site development experts Welch Comer Engineering, hired by ignite CDA, to balance what is possible on the site with what the community may support – as well as what can be afforded for public improvements.

Coeur d’Alene officials plan to close on the $7.85 million property in May with the goals of spurring economic development and creating permanent public waterfront access on the 47-acre former Atlas Mill site.

During polling, COR Vision meeting attendees favored creating a unique new place that doesn’t duplicate other projects, said the most important item for the project’s identity was the natural environment, and a significant majority supported medium density for any residential development, which was defined as townhomes, mid-rises, or apartments/condominiums. More than 75 percent of attendees also said it was very or somewhat important that the project reserves some commercial property for businesses providing higher wage jobs. To see full results, visit