A bank, a popular Boise restaurant chain, and a law firm and pizzeria in Idaho Falls have signed on as tenants for the Boise-based Oppenheimer Development Corp.’s first Idaho Falls development – a two-building-and-plaza project called The Broadway.
The Broadway is only at the footing, foundations and underground construction stage at Broadway and Memorial Drive in downtown Idaho Falls, but prominent Idaho businesses have already been drawn to the $10 million project, said Jeremy Malone, vice president at Oppenheimer Development.
It will include a 27,000-square-foot, three-story office building and a one-story, 8,237-square-foot retail building and a plaza with a fountain and likely winter ice rink between the two buildings.
The Bank of Idaho will move its administrative offices and wealth management team into the entire second floor of the three-level building. The Idaho Falls law firm Parsons Behle & Latimer has signed a letter of intent for space on the third floor.
The Idaho Falls-based Lucy’s Pizzeria, which has four locations, will open its first downtown restaurant in 2,500 square feet of the one-story building. Vacancies of 1,400 and 1,616 square feet still remain in the project.
Meridian-based Fin Concepts, known for its Lucky Fins in Boise and Meridian, will open a Smokin Fins on the ground level of Oppenheimer’s three-story building. The 5,200-square-foot eatery will be the largest of Fin Concepts’s seven restaurants in Idaho, Colorado and Arizona.
CSHQA of Boise is the architect and McAlvain Construction of Boise is the general contractor. The project has already involved removing 2 million pounds of concrete for a 49-space underground garage, Malone said.
He anticipates an October-November opening for The Broadway.
A foray into downtown redevelopment
The Broadway started as a request for proposals in February 2016 from the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency. The agency sought a multi-story building with commercial and residential uses on a .95 acre lot known as the Savings Center or Kelsch property. The agency ultimately agreed to Oppenheimer’s request to back away from the residential elements.
“We were a little ahead of the market for residential,” Malone said. “The demographics for residential in downtown Idaho Falls wasn’t quite ready. We scrapped that in February/March (2017). There was a demand for office space in downtown Idaho Falls. We felt the market was ready for a signature project.”
Oppenheimer is known for two signature projects in downtown Boise: One Capital Center, built in 1976, long before the downtown renaissance started, and the Wells Fargo Center, built in 1989 as the first large structure for the downtown renewal that continues today.
“This is a new part of the state for us,” Malone said about Idaho Falls. “It boiled down to the people in Idaho Falls and the fabulous opportunity in Idaho Falls.”
Smokin Fins expands to Idaho Falls
Idaho Falls is also new ground for the Lucky Fins team in the Treasure Valley. Since 2012, Fin Concepts has opened three Lucky Fins in Meridian (2012), Greeley, Colo. (2013) and downtown Boise (2013). The company made a transition from seafood Lucky Fins to smoked meat and smoked seafood with its Smokin Fins in Littleton (2015), Fort Collins (2016), and Arvada (November), all in Colorado, and Chandler, Arizona (March 2017).
“We’re trying to eliminate the veto vote of people who don’t want seafood,” co-owner Derek Hood said.
The Treasure Valley Lucky Fins are popular, Hood said. There are no plans for Smokin Fins in the Treasure Valley.
Idaho Falls was not at all on Hood’s radar until brothers Skip and Doug Oppenheimer, who head up Oppenheimer Companies and its Oppenheimer Development Corp. subsidiary, had lunch at the downtown Lucky Fins at 8th Street Marketplace, which is managed by Oppenheimer Development.
“They asked if we’d be interested in their Idaho Falls project,” Hood recalled. He said he used to think of Idaho Falls as being a distant city, but as it has grown, it has grown more visible. “At first, Idaho Falls was a long way away. Now it’s just a four-hour drive. Those two guys had the vision. When they do a project, they do it right.”
The Smokin Fins in Idaho Falls will have a 1,000-square-foot patio with fire pit and a private dining room. The Smokin Fins in Colorado and Arizona are all in outlying areas. Idaho Falls will be the first downtown Smokin Fins.
Hood expects Smokin Fins to open in the fourth quarter.
Bank of Idaho expands next door
Bank of Idaho recruited itself to The Broadway project. The Oppenheimer brothers approached Bank of Idaho CEO Jeff Newgard simply to discuss how their neighboring properties could co-exist and advance each other.
“I approached them to see if we could make this more meaningful,” Newgard said.
Bank of Idaho will move its administrative office, including Newgard’s office, next door into The Broadway. Wealth management will also move into the new building, freeing up space in the existing Bank of Idaho corporate building to consolidate the credit department that is now scattered on several floors and at several branches, he said.
The bank’s The Broadway space also will have a community room for about 20 people for use by community organizations, Newgard said.
Bank of Idaho also has the naming rights on the three-story building. The bank’s current headquarters is one property off Broadway, the primary street into downtown from I-15, while the bank’s name will appear prominently on Broadway in the Oppenheimer building.
“It sure gives us visibility,” Newgard said.