Life in the East End: One of Boise’s Most Desirable Neighborhoods
Posted by Lisa Kohl on Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 11:28am
If Boise has a beating heart, a place that pulses with the cultural and historical life of the city, it is the East End neighborhood. Imagine waking up on a Saturday morning and taking a quick hike up to Boise's iconic sandstone bluff, Table Rock, or a leisurely bike ride along the Greenbelt – both located minutes from your home.
Afterward, you walk downtown to meet friends for lunch. In the evening, you debate heading to nearby Outlaw Field for its popular summer concert series, but in the end you opt to open a bottle of wine and catch the faint melodies of the concert from your own backyard.
This is just a taste of East End living, which offers residents all of the convenience of an active urban life contained in a tranquil, tight-knit neighborhood.
Living in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Neighborhood
As you may have guessed, the East End is a neighborhood full of do-ers, thanks in part to its priceless central location. It is the only Boise neighborhood that is bordered by the foothills to the north, Military Reserve to the east, downtown to the west, and the Boise River to the southwest. In other words, it's incredibly walkable and bikeable.
Residents prize its connection to these main arteries of the city just as much as they value the sense of community that the neighborhood offers. The East End also has great access to St. Luke's Medical Center and Boise State University – both of which are less than a 10-minute commute away.
Residing just minutes away from downtown's diverse dining options is a great perk, but the neighborhood has a few beloved establishments of its own. The Trolley House, a 45-year-old institution, is especially well known for its brunch (you can't go wrong with the pancakes).
For generations, the East End's historic Roosevelt Market has been a cherished gathering space for neighbors and friends, the kind of place where everyone truly knew your name. While the market is currently undergoing renovations, plans show it will someday reopen as a general store, bar and cafe.
The Idaho Botanical Garden, the Old Idaho Penitentiary, Kristin Armstrong Park and the MK Nature Center are also located within the neighborhood and present great opportunities for outdoor fun.
In addition, seasonal activities like Winter Garden Aglow, Outlaw Field's Summer Concert Series, and the Old Pen's Frightened Felons Halloween spectacle draw in visitors from across the Treasure Valley and help cement the East End's reputation as a cultural and historical anchor.
Why the East End Is an Excellent Place To Raise a Family
The East End is highly sought after by families for its superior schools. For instance, Roosevelt Elementary ranks third in the entire school district and outperforms more than 95% of elementary schools in Idaho.
Families with children also rave about the Natatorium Pool, an outdoor swimming pool that is open all summer and features a wildly popular hydrotube.
The J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Bike Park, a relatively new neighborhood addition, has also won over the hearts of neighborhood children. It includes slopestyle trails, as well as pump tracks and ramps designed for all skill levels.
Homes To Suit Everyone With an Eclectic Mix of Periods and Styles
While the North End has a larger reputation as Boise's historic district, the East End is arguably Boise's first neighborhood. This means you'll find a large variety of historic architecture in the East End – predominantly the Craftsman bungalow, along with a few Queen Anne cottages, American Foursquares and Mission Revival homes.
But along its mature tree-lined streets, these older styles are interspersed with an eclectic mix of newer construction. Homes built from the late 1800s to 1950s clinker brick homes sit shoulder to shoulder in “the Flats,” i.e. the area that doesn't include the foothills.
As you get into the foothills, the homes become newer and more expansive, featuring an average footprint of more than 2,800 square feet. These unique custom homes, typically built from the 1970s onward, are situated along a relaxed street grid that follows the contours of the hills all the way up to Table Rock.
South of Warm Springs Avenue, within blocks of the Greenbelt, you can find select townhomes built between the 1970s and ‘90s. What these homes lack in style they make up for in location and price point, at under $450,000.
As with other long-established neighborhoods, the East End has very few undeveloped areas, limiting new construction and making the current stock of homes all the more valuable.
Warm Springs Avenue: Luxury Living in Historic Properties
A tour of the East End wouldn't be complete without the Warm Springs Avenue Historic District, which joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Families come from across the Treasure Valley to take a walk or drive down the avenue, especially when the holidays have these stately mansions decked out in all their festive glory. That is because Warm Springs Avenue truly exists in a class all of its own.
Among the 96 homes on this street, you can find exquisite examples of Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, and Colonial Revival homes designed by famous architects, including Tourtellotte & Hummel and Kirtland Cutter, among others.
These houses date back to the late 1800s, predating the North End's Harrison Boulevard. The avenue features some of the very first plats made available in the city, as well as some of the largest. The avenue itself is named after the geothermal springs that heat properties in the area – another perk of living in the neighborhood. In fact, these homes were the first in the country to utilize geothermal heat.
Loyal Residents Make This Exclusive Neighborhood One of Boise's Most Coveted
Given the many draws of living in the East End, it's no surprise that the neighborhood's population has grown quickly in the last few years. It is now home to 7,659 residents and many of these are long-timers – the average East End homeowner stays in their home for 20 years, versus the citywide average of 8 years. And when East Enders do move, roughly one in three stay in the neighborhood. By comparison, across the city only about one in four Boise homeowners relocate within their original neighborhood.
Who calls this area home? Many medical professionals and academics, thanks to its close proximity to St. Luke's and Boise State, two of the city's largest employers. Because of this, East End residents tend to be more highly educated, on average, than residents in other neighborhoods. (Retirees in particular enjoy the neighborhood's proximity to Boise State because those aged 65 and older can audit Boise State classes for only $5 a credit.)
Yet there is also a surprising amount of income diversity in the area, thanks in part to young service workers and Boise State students who prize its convenient central location.
Regardless of their professional backgrounds, East End residents in general tend to be laid back yet ambitious, quiet yet community-minded. One great example of this is the East End's active neighborhood association, which is incredibly invested in creative, hands-on ways of improving the neighborhood for everyone. Recent projects include installing new playground equipment at Adams Elementary and getting a restroom built at Table Rock.
Imagine finding a neighborhood you wanted to call home forever. That's what the East End represents for a lot of people. Even those homeowners who eventually choose to move often retain their East End homes, which is one reason new listings are scarce.
In the last year, the neighborhood has had 130 home sales, with a median home price of $637,500. However, the most coveted properties in the foothills and along Warm Springs Avenue list for $1-2 million.
Boise's East End Neighborhood at a Glance
- Location: The East End Neighborhood can be found in East Boise and is bordered by Broadway Avenue and Second Street to the west, the Warms Springs Golf Course to the east, the Boise city limits, and the Boise River to the north and south. Nearby Boise neighborhoods include the Downtown, Southeast Boise, and Warm Springs Mesa.
- Distance from Downtown Boise: 5 minutes
- Walk Score: 34
- Bike Score: 63
- Median Home Value: $637,500
- Average Rent: $2,018
Lisa is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals. 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.
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