It’s a new century for the 1919 Farmers and Merchants Bank building. Commercial enterprise is planned for the Classical Revival structure that long housed the Nampa Public Library.
Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy Center will fill much of the space, and the Nampa Chamber of Commerce is thinking of moving its office into the front of the building.
The Nampa library occupied the building, donated by First Security Bank, from 1966 until relocating to Nampa Library Plaza in 2015.
The Nampa Development Corp. awarded Nampa developer Mike Mussell the building for $1 in 2015. NDC is the city’s redevelopment agency, which took on ownership of the building after the library moved to a new structure. Mussell said he did not attain full ownership until June.
Mussell, owner of Mussell Construction, will retain the exterior with its ionic columns and pediment. Interior demolition started in July and he anticipates being ready for tenants around mid-January.
“We have it 80 percent leased,” Mussell said. “I bet it will be 95 percent by the time it’s done.”
Chatterbox will occupy 15,000 of the building’s 25,000 square feet. Chatterbox is moving two blocks over from the historic Masonic Temple, built in 1922, also owned by Mussell.
Intermountain Legal Group in Meridian will open a second office in Mussell’s building, and Olsen & Company CPAs, which is in the same Meridian office building as Intermountain Legal, will also open an office in the former library. Dickerson Land Group will move into Mussell’s building, he said.
The Nampa Chamber now has its office in a city-owned building.
“Mike Mussell has approached the Nampa Chamber and it’s currently under consideration with our board,” chamber CEO Debbie Kling said.
The chamber board was planning to discuss a potential move the last week of September.
Mike Mussell’s wife Patty, who is employed at Dickerson Land Group, has worked about six months to line up tenants, he said.
Mussell also owns the Old Masonic Lodge Building, built in 1922 and occupied by Brick 29 Bistro and Chatterbox.
“I’m a sucker for these older buildings that have some character to them,” Mussell said.
Mussell estimates the library building renovation will cost $2.5 million. He will keep the crown molding and the skylights, but replace all the utility lines. An existing two-story open area illuminated by the skylights will be retained. The rest of the interior will be reconfigured to meet tenants’ needs, Mussell said.
He wants to put in a spa and a coffee shop with indoor and outdoor seating.
“What he’s doing to that building is exactly what Nampa needs, which is investment and revitalization of the historic buildings downtown,” Kling said. “It takes us into the future.”
The architect is Network Architects of Boise. Mussell Construction is the general contractor.