Gambling on the housing market

Scott Delhaute is afraid Silverdale will not be ready when the economy recovers.

“There will be a housing shortage when the economy bounces back,” Delhaute said. “Banks are not lending quick enough and most developers can’t get financing.”

Delhaute, a developer and owner of Sterling Custom Homes Inc., hopes to build 157 new houses on a 76-acre property on Anderson Hill Road. He has been happy with the support he has received from Kitsap County.

The development will stretch from Anderson Hill to Apex Road. It includes one-and-a-half miles of walking trails connecting several planned recreation areas and will feature “green,” single-family residences starting at $289,000.

The development itself is considered low-impact because the construction includes bio-retention cells, which contain bacteria that break down the oily waste runoff from roads. Typically, this waste is directed away from the site, collected in pools and eventually channeled back to the Puget Sound. With low-impact developing, water no longer needs to be removed, which helps recharge the aquifers below.

The land the development is planned to sit on includes some wetlands which Delhaute said will add to the scenic beauty of the homes as they will all back up to this greenbelt.

Financing has been the biggest struggle so far, Delhaute said. His partner has made trips to places like Monaco and Panama in an effort to secure investment capital for the project. The duo has already invested $1.5 million of their own money to get the project started and a meeting June 25 was the first with a new investor who seems eager to help. Delhaute is confident the funding will be available within a month and preliminary construction will begin in the fall. He hopes to break ground on the first house by spring 2010.

The project also will have a positive impact on the local economy, according to Delhaute. Over the next four years, he estimates spending more than $30 million on supplies from local merchants and creating a multitude of construction jobs. Once the project is completed, he figures the property taxes will generate $500,000 per year for the county.

“This will be a huge boost for our local economy,” he said.

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