Firm looks to finish multifamily housing project

Half-complete development was started in 2007




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With a proposal to construct multifamily rental housing near the Washington State School for the Blind, StoneRidge Homes expects to build upon the rebounding multifamily housing market.

But first the Vancouver-based homebuilder must gauge whether its $2 million plan to finish the half-done duplex project is viable. Called The Colony, the project was started by another developer in 2007, said Luke Jolma, project manager for StoneRidge Homes, a Vancouver-based company. His company sees potential in the partially completed development.

“We have a pre-application (conference) on the 23rd” of January with city planners, said Jolma. “That (meeting) will dictate to us what direction we’ll go.”

He declined to discuss challenges to the 22-unit second half of the project, called The Colony II.

Potential problems with picking up a half-finished development can run the gamut, said James Howsley, a land-use attorney with Jordan Ramis PC in Vancouver who also serves the 600-member Building Industry Association of Clark County.

“You’re going back and having to adjust the plats,” he said. Staff turnover within some of the local community development departments can also be problematic.

“Sometimes there’s no institutional knowledge of what has taken place,” Howsley said.

Jolma said his company’s plans for The Colony II call for 11 buildings with two units each at 1321 X St., a 1.2-acre tract. It is situated to the west of the project’s first 24 units. At this point, StoneRidge expects to build three-bedroom units that are between 1,200 and 1,300 square feet in size, Jolma said.

If all goes according to plan, the company will break ground late this spring. Jolma sees a broad market for the rental units. He said renters could be young families, commuters who want access to nearby Interstate 5, or employees of the nearby Washington State School for the Blind or Clark College.

The project’s living spaces might also appeal to downsizing baby boomers, Jolma said.

StoneRidge Homes also builds single-family homes and most recently completed eight houses in the Vineyard Estates subdivision in the Lincoln neighborhood. The company has entered into an agreement to purchase the site for The Colony II from owners Thad and Sally Freese of Vancouver.