(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
The old Ridpath Hotel is going to be receiving a renovation which will include low-income housing. The City Council voted 5 to 1 in favor of approving a loan to the project's developer.
What that means is that just under $2 million of the $20 million project is coming from taxpayer funds. Developers say that the reason they are asking for city funding is because of the high level of risk involved with the project, noting that even if the project is successful, the city's investment might not be paid back.
On Monday, City Council President Ben Stuckart noted that was a risk the council was willing to take.
"Density downtown is very important," Stuckart said. "This is 200 units and it's a loan. There's a risk it may not be paid back, but that puts people living downtown."
The developer is also seeking $2 million from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The commission provides funding for construction of housing for low- and moderate-income families across the state.