Lumber executive Rick Bennett has purchased the historic Drake Cooper building in downtown Boise’s BoDo District.
Bennett acquired the structure at 416 S. Eighth St. for an undisclosed amount on Nov. 3. The Ada County Assessor’s Office assessed the property, a one-time Boise Mill & Elevator building and later a Sears, Roebuck & Co. grain warehouse, for $1.43 million.
The two-story building at Eighth and Myrtle streets dates from the early railroad era, built in 1910, according to Chelsee Boehm in the Boise Arts & History Department. The Drake Cooper – currently named for the advertising firm tenant – is on the same block as the much larger Eighth Street Marketplace, which was built a few years earlier, also as a railroad warehouse.
Bennett is the president of Bennett Forest Industries, which is the actual owner of the building. The purchase is part of his company’s efforts to diversify beyond lumber, he said.
Bennett Forest Industries jointly owns Idaho Forest Group, a Coeur d’Alene-based lumber company, with Riley Creek Lumber.
“I’ve been buying buildings for five or six years, an office building in Coeur d’Alene, some light industrial down here (in the Treasure Valley),” Bennett said. “This is my first building in downtown.”
Bennett said he may buy more buildings in downtown Boise but not for another year or so.
“When you buy a building like this, you’re buying an income stream,” Bennett said.
The tenants are Drake Cooper, this month named the No. 2 Best Place to Work by Outside magazine; RDG Filings, a document filing and converting firm; and Urban Design Firm.com, a multimedia design firm. Bennett said the tenants will remain.