How a great city gets even better.
In 1997, the business atmosphere in Coeur d’Alene was a bit sluggish. So, city officials did something about it. Inspired by the Local Economic Development Act, passed by the state legislature in 1988, the CDA Council, in 1997 formed an urban renewal agency to jump-start the economy. Originally known as the Coeur d’Alene Urban Renewal Agency, the agency decided to assign a DBA, Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC) in 2001. The DBA name was changed to ignite cda in 2015 to more accurately reflect the agency’s mission.
To ensure success, board members traveled around the northwest to benchmark other cities’ urban renewal strategies. Coeur d’Alene’s focus was initially to review the depressed downtown. This led to the creation of the Lake District, encompassing the city’s core, midtown and areas bordering Northwest Boulevard.
The group quickly realized there were other areas of the city that could benefit from urban renewal assistance. Heads turned to an old mill site and gravel pit off Northwest Boulevard—the western gateway to the city. What is today known as Riverstone—a thriving live/work/play development—is perhaps one of the biggest success stories to date for ignite cda.
To help revive a portion of that slumbering site, the CDA City Council created a second urban renewal district, the River District, in 2003. It encompasses an area between Interstate 90 and the Spokane River, extending from Riverstone to the city of Huetter. Ignite cda reimbursed the developer for infrastructure improvements required to make the development possible.
In the fall of 2017, the CDA City Council voted to purchase a portion of the Stimson mille site (referred to as the Atlas site) along the Spokane River and requested ignite cda conduct a more in-depth master plan and financial feasibility analysis to determine if the property qualified to become an urban renewal distict. The purchase of the Atlas site by the City was finalized on May 16, 2018. The new Atlas District encompassing the entire former Stimson mill site area, was created via ordinance by the CDA Council in December 2018.
The City/ignite cda overall project objective for the Atlas site is to transform a brownfield site into a mix-use development with both waterfront and interior public space.
The City/ignite cda identified three primary objectives:
1. Preserve the waterfront area as public space.
2. Create a land development plan that will fund the property purchase, public space and infrastructure improvements through land sale revenue and tax increment funding.
3. Create a unique and desirable community addition that reflects Coeur d’Alene community values.
In the fall of 2018, the City Council authorized ignite cda to create an urban renewal master plan and economic feasibility study for an area around the existing Kootenai Health campus. This area was proposed as an urban renewal district focusing on health-oriented land uses and supportive health care services. The establishment of a Health Corridor District would contribute to the social and economic well being of the entire CDA community. The Health Corridor District was created and approved by the CDA City Council in December 2019.