STAR -- Cranes, cement trucks, and construction crews: all signs of growth. Cities across the Treasure Valley are booming, and with that growth comes the need for housing- particularly housing that is affordable for all incomes.
That is why a new affordable, workforce housing complex is in the works in Star. The project is called the Moon Valley Apartments, and developers hope to start moving people in by March 2017, with the completion date set for June 2017.
The Housing Company - a nonprofit organization that facilitates development of housing in under-served areas of the state - is spearheading this project.
"Star has been growing by leaps and bounds," The Housing Company Director Douglas Peterson said.
Just two months ago, the six acres where the Moon Valley Apartments are being constructed off State Street were dirt and grass.
"We saw the great need for an affordable housing complex here," Peterson told KTVB.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Star's population is estimated to be about 7,800 people - a huge climb from almost 5,800 in 2010.
"It's building everywhere. It really is," neighbor to the project, and longtime Star resident, Randy Fetters said. "To see it now it's unreal."
"Some of the smaller outlying cities have seen growth in population and growth in services and there's no one there to provide those services," Peterson said.
The Housing Company tells KTVB there are only two other apartment complexes in the city, so it is time for what they're calling workforce housing in Star.
"People who live here will work in the community," Peterson told KTVB. "Options and opportunities."
The Moon Valley Apartment project is made up of seven buildings including a clubhouse, eight one-bedroom units, 20 two-bedroom units, and nine 3-bedroom townhouses.
"Technically 37 units total. One of those is the manager's apartment," Brandon Hammer with Wright Brothers Building Company said.
The complex is for households that make 40 to 60 percent of the Area Median Income - which is about $58,000 per household in Star.
"I think they're really important projects for any community," Peterson added.
The Idaho Business Review reports that affordable one-bedroom units start at $400 a month, while three-bedroom townhomes start at $625 a month. There will also be four market rate units ranging from $650 for a one-bedroom unit to $875 for a three-bedroom townhome.
"We had corn here at one time, fields and dusty and everything. I think when they get it all done it's going to be nice," Fetters added. "This particular thing is going to help the people who don't have a lot of money... so I think that's going to be good."
But not everyone agrees.
KTVB spoke with some people who live behind the development; many are opposed, but didn't want to go on camera.
Hundreds of residents took to the Star Community Facebook page last year when an application to build this project on a different parcel was being reviewed. People wrote that Star is not the place for an affordable housing complex, and some were worried that it could lower property values.
"There are a lot of households who work really hard and they just don't make a lot of money," Peterson explained. "But they're critical to the success and the economic viability of our community."
Project leaders say they are hoping to develop two acres in the back of the property in a couple years as the second phase of the project. They're looking to fill a big need and build affordable senior housing.