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Watercooler Apartments are downtown Boise’s newest urban digs

The Watercooler Apartments feature popular siding and box-framed casement windows that offer views down the street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The Watercooler Apartments feature popular siding and box-framed casement windows that offer views down the street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The first 10 tenants moved into the new Watercooler apartments in downtown Boise July 14 as finishing touches were still underway.

The 37-unit Watercooler Apartments are at 14th and Idaho Streets in downtown Boise. The buildings stand out from most other apartments in the city for their style.

The Watercooler and The Fowler, also under construction in Boise, are both projects of Los Angeles developer LocalConstruct. They introduce apartment concepts to Boise that are in play in Los Angeles, Portland and elsewhere, said Katie Vila, LocalConstruct’s development manager.

The Watercooler’s exterior boasts thermally modified poplar siding and box-framed casement windows that offer views down the street.

“Going into design it was important to find an architect with design aesthetics,” Vila said. “How do you add creativity to a traditional walk-up and make it special in downtown Boise?”

Beebe Skidmore of Portland did the conceptual design and The Architects Office of Boise was the project architect. Andersen Construction of Boise was the general contractor. Construction on the market-rate apartments started in May 2016.

Vila describes The Watercooler as “more workforce than luxury.” The project is named after the building that previously stood at the site, a business incubator known as the Watercooler.

The Watercooler apartments have seven two-story live-work units averaging 929 square feet with monthly rents at $1,500 to $2,166; four studios averaging 495 square feet at $1,059 to $1,165; 16 one-bedrooms averaging 654 square feet at $1,204 to $1,350; eight two-bedrooms averaging 768 square feet at $1,378 to $1,700; and two three-bedrooms averaging 1,084 square feet at $1,690 to $1,850.

“We’re 50 percent committed (with signed leases),” Vila said. “If you have 35 percent at this point, you’d be doing pretty well.”

The building includes 892 square feet of retail space at the corner of 14th and Idaho.

“We’re very close to having (a tenant),” Vila said. “It would be food and beverage.”

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.

One comment

  1. Ridiculously high rent for the Boise area.