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Embassy Suites will be hotel on Parcel B

The new drawing for the Parcel B hotels shows Embassy Suites to the right, a less refined drawing of a second hotel to the left and new garage design lowered from nine to three stories. Image courtesy of Greater Boise Auditorium District.

The new drawing for the Parcel B hotels shows Embassy Suites to the right, a less refined drawing of a second hotel to the left and new garage design lowered from nine to three stories. Image courtesy of Greater Boise Auditorium District.

Embassy Suites, a Hilton brand, will fill the larger, 170-room hotel Gardner Company proposes to build in downtown Boise as part of a two-hotel package on Parcel B, a dirt parking lot at 11th and Front streets.

The Idaho Business Review first reported an Embassy Suites for that property on July 27. Gardner had kept the hotel brand under wraps until revealing it at a Greater Boise Auditorium District board meet on Dec. 17 while asking for an extension to satisfy conditions on a development agreement with GBAD, which owns Parcel B.

The GBAD board agreed to extend the conditions deadline from Jan. 1 to Feb. 1 and the closing date for selling the 5.02-acre lot to Feb. 29. Gardner agreed to pay $ 7.925 million for the acreage bounded by 11th, 13th, Front and Myrtle streets.

The south hotel at Myrtle and 11th Street will be a Hilton, said Geoffrey Wardle, Gardner’s general counsel and vice president of development.

One team will manage both properties. The second hotel will have 130 rooms, and the rooms will be less expensive than those at Embassy Suites.

Wardle said Gardner has paid a $75,000 franchise deposit to lock in Embassy Suites for the north hotel.

Geoffrey Wardle

Geoffrey Wardle

Construction will start some time in spring and take 18 months, Wardle said.

Before then, however, Gardner is focused on negotiations with the Capital City Development Corp. regarding the garage for Parcel B. Until now, Gardner had proposed a nine-story, 900-space concrete garage with the possibility to build condos atop the garage.

That plan has been scrapped to bring the garage cost down from $25 million to about $12.5, which Wardle said was more amenable to CCDC. Gardner and CCDC are negotiating the urban renewal agency’s involvement in the garage, which could include contributing to the construction cost, and CCDC operating and owning the garage.

CCDC likely would only contribute a portion of the garage construction cost but CCDC Executive Director John Brunelle anticipates a significant investment from his agency in streetscape improvement, utility relocations and garage construction.

“($12.5 million) is higher than we can afford right now (to build a garage),” Brunelle said. “We could get to $12.5 million for the whole thing (streetscapes, utility, garage).”

Brunelle said CCDC’s financial involvement in the Parcel B project will be based on the projected tax increment financing that CCDC can expect to receive from the Gardner project as it produces increased tax revenue from the property. Garage negotiations with CCDC led to the extension request with GBAD.

The new garage will probably have 500 parking spots and three stories so it can be built with steel, which costs less than concrete, Wardle said.

“We think the sweet spot is 500 stalls,” Wardle said.

The estimate takes into account 230 stalls earmarked for the 300 hotel rooms. The other stalls will be used by meeting attendees, other day visitors to the hotels, and overflow parking for the J.R. Simplot headquarters under construction across 11th Street, Wardle said.

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.