As more individuals seek to live near where they work, Downtown Boise has flourished into a sought-after residential neighborhood. In addition to several commercial projects in the works, almost 1,300 new multi-family housing units are planned for downtown and just to its south, along the Boise River.
In keeping with current trends and popular demand, many of these units will be part of mixed-use developments. Multi-family housing is planned above the ground-level commercial spaces that make urban neighborhoods both vibrant and viable: retail, restaurants, and coffee shops. With that in mind, here are the new Downtown Boise construction projects you should be watching in 2020.
Third and Myrtle
The Third and Myrtle mixed-use project is scheduled for completion in July 2021. Photo courtesy of The Opus Group.
Status: Under construction | 3rd St and Myrtle St | Central Addition
Co-developers River Caddis Development and Standard Capital recently broke ground on this eight-story, 285,000-square-foot development. It will feature a mix of 173 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, with a select number of luxury units planned for the upper floors.
In addition, a landscaped rooftop courtyard will offer residents expansive mountain views. The $30,000,000 development also includes 3,000 square feet of street-level retail space, 400 parking stalls, bike storage, and a fitness center.
Grove Street Apartments
Photo courtesy of Pivot North Architecture.
Status: Permitting | 5th St and Grove St | Downtown
Boise developer Clay Carley has proposed development of a six-story apartment building with ground-floor retail in the heart of downtown. The building will feature 114 units ranging from 500 to 1,000 square feet. Plans call for 20 percent of the apartments to have two bedrooms and bathrooms, with studios and one-bedrooms making up 40 percent each.
Interestingly, the development is only slated to have 12 parking spaces for vehicles and space for 114 for bicycles. That’s because the site lies within downtown's P1 Parking Reduction Overlay district. The development zone does not require parking for residential projects due to the healthy public parking options available in the area.
Trapper's Island Condos
Trapper's Island passed design approval earlier this year. Photo courtesy of the City of Boise.
Status: Approved | Americana Boulevard
While this six-story gated community will be a short waltz away from Downtown Boise, it is noteworthy given its size, scope, and location. The project, submitted by Jayo and WHPacific, recently was approved by the City of Boise. The 7.4-acre development will include five buildings with 304 total units, broken down into 137 one-bedroom units, and 167 two-bedroom units.
The Trapper's Island developers promise “2,200-3,200 square feet of luxury living” with “glass view elevators and large view decks.” It will be a gem for those who crave outdoor serenity and convenient access to urban amenities. Hugged by the Boise Greenbelt and the Riverview Rehabilitation area, the site lies just north of Kathryn Albertson Park and west of Ann Morrison Park.
Each condo will be guaranteed one parking space. Also, two of the buildings have potential commercial space available.
Photo courtesy of Holst Architecture.
Status: Permitting | 6th St and Front St | Downtown
A new eight-story residential and retail space could soon replace a single-story copy and printing business downtown. The project application, submitted by the Visum Development Group, includes 75 residential units with ground-floor retail and even plans for a sidewalk patio. The current tan-and-mustard colored building, originally built in 1910, lacks craftsmanship or detailing to qualify for historic designation. Nevertheless, the new development will pay subtle homage to its predecessor with a grey stone exterior with mustard accents.
In the same development zone as the Grove Street Apartments (above), this project does not include any car parking for residents. However, plans include parking space for up to 75 bicycles.
505 W Bannock St
The 15,100 square foot building will feature floor to ceiling windows — an usual (expensive) feature for a project this size. Photo courtesy of Pivot North Architecture.
Status: Permitting | 5th St and W Bannock St | Downtown
Pivot North Architecture is proposing a three-story bar, restaurant, and office space to replace the shuttered one-story Wells Fargo Bank building located at 5th and West Bannock streets. Proposed plans (approved this September) call for a striking building with large windows, a two-story entry and outdoor sidewalk seating to appeal to foot traffic.
The Bannock St developers envision a street-level bar and lounge with seating for 65 people. The second floor will host a full-service restaurant with seating for 80, with additional patio dining on a second-floor balcony that can seat up to 32 people. The third floor is reserved for office space and also includes an outdoor patio area. Plans call for an existing parking lot on the east side of the building to remain.
Home2 Suites by Hilton
Photo courtesy of The Raymond Group.
Status: Under construction | 6th St and Front St | Downtown
Roughly 575 hotel rooms have been added to Boise’s downtown core since 2017, and yet dirt is flying on another large-scale hotel construction project: a seven-story hotel and parking garage slated for 6th and Front streets. Despite the influx of new inventory, a recent report on downtown hotel occupancy rates proves that the city’s appetite for new hotel rooms is still strong.
This new development will feature 138 hotel rooms, 540 parking spaces, standard hotel amenities like a restaurant and pool, and even a pocket park. Clay Carley and the Raymond Group and behind the project, which will carry the extended-stay Home2 Suites by Hilton brand.
270 E Myrtle Apartments
Photo courtesy of Cube3.
Status: Permitting | S Ave B and E Myrtle St
This seven-story multi-family development project is unique in several ways. For one, its 243 units, ranging from studios to four bedrooms, will be aimed at “young professionals,” according to application materials submitted by the Collegiate Development Group. Collegiate Development specializes in developing properties near college campuses across the nation, making them well suited to this type of project.
Currently, the lot is used as an extra parking lot by property owner Winco Foods, which is also unusual. The project proposal includes parking for 366 cars and 313 bicycles, as well as a rooftop deck.
Ronald McDonald House
The expanded 40,000 square foot facility is expected to meet demand for the next ten years. Photo courtesy of RMHC of Idaho.
Status: Under construction | N 1st St and Idaho St | Downtown
The St. Luke’s hospital expansion has dominated local attention and disrupted nearby roadways for years now. But equally important is the expansion of the nearby Ronald McDonald House, which will triple in size to accommodate out-of-town families seeking medical care for their children.
The nonprofit development perfectly complements the new St. Luke’s children’s health pavilion, and stands as a glowing testament to Boise’s role as a welcoming anchor for Idaho’s most urgent medical cases. The new two-story building will include 47 rooms for families.
11th and Main Apartments
11th and Main Apartments are right across the street from The Owyhee, another former hotel that was converted to apartments. Photo courtesy of Revolve Development.
Status: Permitting | 11th St and Main St | Downtown
Longtime Boise residents recently mourned the closure of the Safari Inn, a quirky ‘70s-styled hotel known for its mirrored décor and reasonable rates. The good news is that Seattle-based Revolve Development purchased one of the hotel’s buildings and has plans to convert the existing hotel rooms into 42 apartments.
The repurposed three-story building will primarily feature studio units (with new kitchens), along with four one-bedroom units. Noting that the existing building is not a historical structure, the developers propose adding large storefront windows to a new lobby and injecting a “clean design expression of wood slate panels with vertical openings” to complement its sleek modernist lines.
Carnegie Public Library
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Renaissance Revival building was listed for sale at $3,100,000 in 2018. Photo courtesy of Colliers International.
Status: Announced | 8th St and W Washington St | Downtown
Plans are finally in motion to breathe new life into Boise’s first public library. The historic Carnegie Library is a 13,707-square-foot building designed by famous local architects Charles Tourtellotte and John Hummel in 1905. Made from sandstone from the Table Rock quarry, it served as Boise’s main library until 1972, after which it was remodeled to house law offices.
Developer Shawn Swanby has hired Hummel Architects of Boise – the same firm that had a hand in designing the original structure – to remove the building’s labyrinth of small offices and false ceilings and restore it to its former glory. The current plan is to create open office space for Swanby’s education technology firm on the first floor of the building and reserve the rest as a public gathering and meeting space.
Swanby describes the historic remodel as his “passion project,” and cautions that it could take up to two years to design and complete.
Lisa Kohl is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. From Southeast Boise to The North End, up to Eagle and West to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.