Twin Falls has a problem. We have people moving in to our town at an exciting rate, but we also have a large homeless population. And while there is constant new construction happening, our town is filled with many large buildings that have been vacant for years. Someone online commented that we should take one of these big, old buildings and turn it into housing units.

Should Twin Falls red Lion Be Turned Into Affordable Housing Units

In a Facebook post on the Help Your Neighbor Campaign group, one user wrote:

Just throwing this out there as a thought. Ya'll know the red lion inn on Blue Lakes what if it could be turned into low income housing for senior Veterans or short term housing for homeless?

On the surface, that question is amazing. How great that someone is thinking of ways to help other people. But if you really dig into what that kind of an undertaking would entail, it isn't so easy. As you can read in the many comments, you have to take into account the structural stability of the building and then what it would take to make that dream a reality.

What Vacant Buildings In Twin Falls Could Become Housing Units

The comment online did bring up a good question, and made us aware that the Blue Lakes Red Lion is for sale, about using what we currently have in Twin Falls. I'm not a real estate agent, structural engineer, or someone you should trust to tell you what to do with your property - but if we just look at this question on the surface there are a few places around town that could fit the bill.

Old Gray Office Building By The City Park

Credit N8
Credit N8

The Red Lion suggestion makes sense because it is already basically individual housing units. Another location that has been vacant for years and would make a great location for housing is the old gray office building across the street from the Twin Falls City Park. There was talk a few years ago about turning it into a charter school.

Shopko In The Magic Valley Mall

Benito Baeza
Benito Baeza

Turning the old Shopko into housing units would take a lot more work, but it's possible. In Boise they just announced that the old Karcher Mall is being revamped with housing units, storage units, and stores.

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