Workforce housing on the way at Ash and River streets

Teya Vitu//May 31, 2018

Workforce housing on the way at Ash and River streets

Teya Vitu//May 31, 2018

Workforce housing at Ash and River streets will include garages, carports and landscaping. Image courtesy of Dean Papé.

Foundation work started in mid-April on a 34-unit, two-structure workforce housing complex off River and Ash streets in downtown Boise.

Eugene, Oregon,-based deChase Miksis, headed by Dean Papé in Boise, and prominent Portland developer Mark Edlen took up the challenge from the Capital City Development Corp. to build workforce housing on an oddly configured .71 acre lot the shape of Nevada.

They were the only applicant to follow through CCDC’s request for proposals process for the deed-restricted project. CCDC requires rents be affordable for a family of four earning between 80 percent and 120 percent of the area median income – $70,300  for a family of four – so  that no more than 35 percent of the wage goes to rent.

The workforce housing stipulation will be in place for seven years.

Construction recently started on a 34-unit workforce housing complex off River Street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

“What attracted us to it was the opportunity to do workforce housing,” Papé said. “We believe the need and demand is there.”

The $7.34 million project, yet to be named, defies the conventions of downtown apartment development with 22 three-bedroom units, nine one-bedroom units and three two-bedroom units. Closed-door garages will come with 22 units and the rest will have carports, Papé said.

“These are typical amenities you’d find in the suburbs, not downtown.” he said.

Pivot North of Boise is the architect, with conceptual designs from GGLO Design of Seattle. The general contractor is Visser Building Company of Boise.

“Those quirky sites create something more interesting,” said Shellan Rodriguez, CCDC’s real estate development manager. “From my perspective, it is surrounded by public rights of way. It has a lot of front door space pointing to the Pioneer Corridor, which is unique.”

The historic 1907 stone Hayman House sits on 4,609 square feet between River Street and the apartment project as does a 3,100-square-foot strip of adjacent city land. CCDC, which owned the Hayman House and apartment property, in early May deeded the Hayman House to the Boise Arts and History Department.