The seventh edition of the quarterly Square Feet magazine, dedicated to commercial and residential design, construction and real estate, focuses on multifamily housing around the state.
Editor’s Note: Multifamily Housing
A big year for multifamily housing around Idaho
By Anne Wallace Allen
This has been a big year for multifamily housing in Idaho. Apartment projects are going up around the Treasure Valley and in other parts of the state, with downtown Boise seeing unprecedented growth.
Meaghan Bullard, a project architect / manager with Jones Architecture, works in the firm’s Pearl District office. According to Alan Jones, the firm’s founding principal, the pipeline for multifamily projects is drying up. Photo by Sam Tenney of the DJC.
Renters in Idaho’s largest city will soon have their choice of high-end apartment options like the one shown on the cover of this quarter’s edition of Square Feet.
In Square Feet, Idaho Business Review writers take a look at the multifamily housing growth and its effect on the state. Real estate and construction writer Teya Vitu summarizes much of what he has been seeing in the Treasure Valley, counting 2,700 apartment units under construction between Kuna and Boise.
Vitu writes that while large developments are still underway, he’s noticing a trend away from the buildings with hundreds of units toward townhouse-type units. Although the apartment market is slowing in much of the country, it’s still going full-bore in the Treasure Valley in part because developers are building to the need. With vacancy rates of just 3 percent, rents are steadily increasing.
Part of the growth is probably attributable to the fact that Idaho’s seeing a lot of migration into the state. With grown of 7.4 percent between 2010 and 2015, Idaho is one of the nation’s fastest-growing states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census estimated Idaho’s population at 1.68 million in July.
Also, research from the Idaho Department of Labor shows that Idaho’s population is moving from the rural areas to the more urban areas, a pattern seen in most U.S. states. Much of the growth reported by the Census is happening in the Treasure Valley, home to the state’s largest urban area. COMPASS, the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, said late last year that the population in the Treasure Valley will increase more than 70 percent by 2040, from just over 600,000 to 1.022 million.
Andy Probst of Park Place Property Management, who oversees 3,000 apartments in the Treasure Valley, says 70 percent of the rental applications he seems are from people moving from outside of Idaho.
Affordable housing continues to be a pressing need in the Treasure Valley and other areas of Idaho. Writer Sharon Fisher discusses the efforts underway in the capital city and elsewhere. Lewiston, in northern Idaho, has an affordable housing complex called Kinsale Place that will be ready for occupancy in May.
Idaho is now seeing a growth and variety in multifamily housing that it has never experienced before. It’s another sign that the state’s economy is maturing and becoming more diversified.
Anne Wallace Allen is the editor of the Idaho Business Review.