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Blaine Manor Getting Closer to Opening Doors
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Michelle Griffith, executive director of ARCH Community Housing, shows off the view from one of the senior apartment balconies.
   
Friday, October 1, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

A puff of dust rises three inches high each time Michelle Griffith steps on the stairs leading to the third floor of the Blaine Manor Senior Apartments currently under construction in Hailey.

It as if she was hiking a dusty trail.

“But it won’t be that way for long,” she said, gleefully.

 
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ARCH Community Housing hopes to have an open house for the Blaine Manor senior apartments just before they open Dec. 1.
 

Indeed, some 30 new occupants will be permitted to move in Dec. 1, if all goes according to plan

With two months to go, cords wind their way through long hallways, tiny lights turned upward. Stacks of sheet rock still occupy one corner.  A fireplace for the kitchenette and commons area in the northeast corner sits under wraps.

And bathrooms have yet to receive showers and sinks.

But the computer lab, library and multipurpose game room have begun to take shape, as has a gym that will feature a treadmill, recumbent bicycle and weights.

 
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The senior apartments boast an elevator while you’ll have to hoof it up stairs to access second- and third-floor units in the family building.
 

“(Olympic high jumper) Dick Fosbury in charge of decorating it with pictures of local Olympians as a little inspiration for those working out,” said Griffith, the executive director of ARCH Community Housing, which has spearheaded the project.

Griffith climbs immediately to the third floor, which is farthest along. She stops in an apartment in the southwest corner, which features a bedroom, two nice-sized closets, bathroom, space for washer and dryer, kitchen and living room.

It also boasts a large balcony with views of Della Mountain and Hailey’s colorful fall foliage.

“Look how pretty that is!” said Project Manager Carrie Van Houten of CSDI Construction.

 
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Builders broke ground on the Blaine Manor project, which includes a large patio at the south end of the family building, a year ago in September 2020.
 

The Blaine Manor Senior Apartments at 706 S. Main St. in Hailey is designed for those 55 and older while an adjacent building, scheduled to open in February, is designed for families.

Both have gotten more applications than there are units from people eager to take advantage of rents that range from $450 to $1,000 per month for seniors and $900 to $1,200 per month for families. But some openings remain, given the necessary qualifications.

Eligible seniors must make between 30 percent and 50 percent of the area median income and families must make 60 percent or less of the area median income. For a family of four, that’s $76,000 or less.

While the senior apartments offer one- and two-bedroom units, the family building has two- and three-bedroom units with three-bedroom units resembling the footprint of a small single-family residence.

 
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The commons area in the senior building still has a little work needed.
 

The family dwellings are more private--accessible by an outside staircase, rather than the interior hallways that link the senior apartments.

Outside is a small playground and a large patio for barbecues.

The project, like others this summer, has encountered supply problems. Workers are waiting for six-inch wall base right now, along with decking material. Concrete was also slow to come. But the project was able to stay on schedule, with builders starting work at daybreak during hot July days.

Van Houton said it was a tight squeeze putting the building next to Main Street, especially since the city wished to save some trees on the west side. But they made it work.

“They’re nice units,” said Van Houton. “The senior building is what we call a traditional style interior elevator building with grey horizontal siding and green vertical trim. The family building is garden style with green horizontal siding and grey vertical trim.”

The color was informed by the grey ice rink to the east since the city wanted to see Blaine Manor blend in with it.

This $15 million project is ARCH’s biggest project to date and it would not have gotten done without local support, said Griffith. Blaine County Commissioners donated the land and $500,000. The Hailey URA donated $27,000 and ARCH donated some, as well.

“It will go a long way to help ease the house problem in the valley,” said Griffith. “Sixty units is a lot for a small community.”

To date ARCH has been involved with 150 affordable housing units, including some still under  construction.

Seven of nine units at the intersection of Woodside and Countryside boulevards in Hailey are nearly finished. The $2.5 million project was boosted by land donated by the City of Hailey and money from Idaho Housing and Finance. City employees get first right of refusal given the city’s involvement in that project, Griffith said.

St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation and St. Luke’s Health System are partnering with ARCH on a 12-unit project that just broke ground Monday in Hailey’s Quigley Farm. The project includes four single-family dwellings in Quigley Farm, four on Shenandoah Drive in Hailey and four at the north end of Bellevue.

The project began with a survey of employee needs in 2019, in which employees said they would like to see homes that are pet-friendly and have garages, outdoor space and proximity to city services, such buses so employees can ride the bus to work.

The project is privately funded to guarantee that St. Luke’s staff get dibs on the houses and that employees drive the rental rate.

“This is somewhat of a cutting-edge project with the hospital and made possible because our community is so generous,” Griffith said.

Griffith said she is working on acquiring additional land.

“We need more housing, but every bit helps,” she said. “One house at a time.”

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Contact ARCH at 208-726-4411 or homeownership@archbc.org


 

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