Burley-based D.L. Evans Bank has bought the historic Alexander Building at the corner of 9th and Main streets in downtown Boise that has stood empty for a year since Zions Bank moved out.
The sale, for an undisclosed amount, closed Jan. 18 and D.L. Evans plans to move into the 1924 Second Renaissance Revival Style structure with the white terra cotta veneer façade in June. It won’t be a distant move: D.L Evans has had its downtown branch just one block away at 9th and Idaho streets since 2008.
But the move into the Alexander building will upgrade D.L. Evans’s downtown presence from a branch with a couple of corporate offices to a Treasure Valley headquarters, said John V. Evans III, the bank’s Boise-based executive vice president.
“As a bank expanding in the Treasure Valley, we recognize the need for more space,” Evans said.
The Alexander building office will also include expanded commercial lending.
D.L. Evans has 12 of its 26 branches in the Treasure Valley with a 27th branch scheduled to open in Fruitland in April. Ingrained in southern Idaho since its founding in Albion in 1904, D.L. Evans did not arrive in Boise until opening its State Street branch in 2000.
The bank anticipates adding one more branch statewide each year, Evans said.
D.L. Evans is the largest bank headquartered in Idaho, with $1.2 billion in assets as of the end of 2014. The bank ranked seventh among all banks in both the Boise market and in the state of Idaho in assets in the middle of 2014, based on Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data that includes its 2014 acquisition of Idaho Banking Co. with its four branches.
The Alexander Building purchase from a group led by Bob Angell also takes D.L. Evans from leasing space to ownership. The move expands the bank from a 5,500-square foot space to roughly 20,000 feet on three floors, though D.L. Evans for now plans to occupy only the 8,000-square-foot ground floor. It might lease out the upper floors.
D.L Evans acquired an existing bank space with all the bank fittings in place. Zions Bank leased the Alexander Building from June 2001 until moving into the Eighth & Main tower in January 2014.
“We’re going to do a small remodel, that’s all, touch it up, update the teller line. Other than that, it’s ready to go,” Evans said.
D.L. Evans did not consider the Alexander Building immediately upon Zions departure. The idea didn’t surface until about April 2014 as the Evans family (three generations of Evans lead the bank) considered renewing the lease that was expiring in April 2015.
“We weren’t looking at moving at all,” Evans said. “But when we started to run the numbers, it cost as much to lease 5,500 square feet as it does to own 20,000 square feet.”
The Alexander Building initially was under contract to someone else. D.L. Evans Bank started discussions with the owners around September, Evans said.
The Alexander Building was built in 1924 as Alexander’s Men’s Store.
The Evans family of bankers and the Alexander Building both have connections to former Idaho governors. John V. Evans Sr. was governor from 1977 to 1987 and afterwards became the bank’s president. Moses Alexander was a Boise mayor who served as governor from 1915 to 1919 and afterwards built the Alexander Building. The renovation of the by-then dilapidated Alexander was the first urban renewal project spearheaded by Dirk Kempthorne, another former Boise mayor and Idaho governor.
Alexander Building ground floor tenants
1924-1975: Alexander’s Men’s Store, men’s clothing, forced to move out as the Boise Redevelopment Agency (today’s Capital City Development Corp.) acquired the building to demolish it for the downtown mall that was never built. The wrecking ball ultimately stopped on the other side of Main Street.
1987-2001: Lee Read Jewelry and Cricket Clothing, a woman’s clothing store.
2001- January 2014: Zions Bank
Est. June 2015- : D.L. Evans Bank
Brad Iverson-Long contributed to this article.n