Downtown apartment project could start construction soon

Brad Iverson-Long//November 20, 2012

Downtown apartment project could start construction soon

Brad Iverson-Long//November 20, 2012

Developer Glenn Levie said the 916 Park building should provide housing for young professionals who want to live in a downtown setting, rather than in the suburbs. Courtesy of Glenn Levie.

A four-story, mixed-use apartment building in downtown Boise could start construction early next year, according to developer Glenn Levie. The 916 Park project will have 68 apartment units, plus 4,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

Levie said he got started on the project last year, based on his assessment that the downtown apartment market could pick up steam.

“The urban, near downtown market seems to be pretty tight and rents pretty secure,” Levie said. “From a business perspective, it seemed to make sense.”

The location of the potential building, just east of downtown Boise and Boise State University at Park and Parkcenter, could appeal to students, but Levie said the project is targeting young professionals with finishes like granite countertops, high ceilings and an elevator.

“We’re looking more toward the higher end of the apartment market,” Levie said, adding that some students could afford to live in the building. He said the building is more likely to serve the workforce of BSU, the St. Luke’s campus and other downtown businesses.

“It’s a geographic bull’s-eye,” Levie said.

David Wali, director of investment services at Colliers International in Boise, also said it’s a good location for multi-family housing, since it’s close to education and job opportunities.

“It’s a nice, urban infill location close to jobs, close to downtown and now close to Whole Foods and Chick-fil-A,” Wali said.

Levie said the market for apartments is good for new projects because there’s not much increase in new apartment space, while more people are looking to rent as getting a loan becomes more difficult for some would-be homebuyers.

“We’ve gone back to a more traditional, structured housing market,” Levie said. “Not everybody can live in a house. That’s helped tighten up the apartment market considerably.”

The 916 Park project was approved by Boise’s Design Review Committee in October. Levie submitted a building permit, valuing the project at $5.8 million, to the city on Oct. 30. Steed Construction of Eagle is the contractor on the project, which was designed by Levie Architectural Group. Levie said the project should take 10 months to build.

Wali said there are other downtown residential projects in the works, including some student housing projects near BSU and the conversion of the former downtown Macy’s to 62 affordable housing units. Wali, the spokesman for that project on behalf of Boise-based Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp., said construction on the project should start next spring.

Work could start now on the former Macy’s site, but the timing doesn’t make sense, according to Wali. He said it’s being put on hold so the completed project will open in the spring of 2014 rather than the earlier winter months, since people are more likely to move during warmer months.