Earth work started May 18 for the fourth and final structure for the Gardner Company’s Pioneer Crossing project. The development has been under construction since October 2016 just west of the J.R. Simplot Co. corporate headquarters and JUMP.
An 850-space garage has been open to the public since early April and Panera Bread is expected to open around July 4. The developers are hoping for a July opening for the 150-room Hilton Garden Inn. The focus now is on building a five-story, 120,000-square-foot office building at Myrtle and 13th streets.
Groundbreaking on the structure is set for June 12, with an opening expected in July or August 2019, said David Wali, executive vice president at Gardner. Gardner also built Eighth and Main and the Clearwater Building in downtown Boise and owns the U.S. Bank Plaza – all three collectively known as City Centre Plaza.
Wali said a little over 50 percent of the future Pioneer Crossing office is pre-leased and he expects 75 percent or more of the building to be leased by the time it opens.
“It’s the usual suspects for downtowns: finance, legal and insurance,” he said without naming tenants.
Pioneer Crossing – bounded by Front, Myrtle, 11th and 13th streets in downtown Boise – will not be located directly among the handful of downtown towers. It will fit in with several office buildings across Myrtle and the 1½-year-old Simplot headquarters and JUMP, all part of a mixed-use landscape in former Union Pacific Railroad territory.
“It’s exciting to see a parcel that previously was undeveloped become a place of interest for people to come and be,” said Shellan Rodridguez, real estate development manager at the Capital City Development Corp., the city’s urban renewal agency. CCDC bought 250 spaces in the Pioneer Crossing Garage and paid for streetscape improvements.
Wali noted Pioneer Crossing is just a couple blocks from the Linen District in one direction, the Boise River Greenbelt and Payette Brewing in the opposite direction and a couple blocks from BoDo to the east.
“It’s part of a very walkable neighborhood,” Wali said.
Pioneer Crossing will be Class A office space with rents projected a about $26 a square foot, he said.
The $23 million to $25 million office building is part of the overall $65 million Pioneer Crossing, a partnership between Gardner and Ball Ventures in Idaho Falls. Babcock Design Group in Salt Lake City is the project architect and Okland Construction of Salt Lake City is the general contractor.
Gardner held off on office building construction until now by necessity. The garage needed to be completed first and the office property served as a staging area for the other three buildings.
Panera Bread with its drive-thru lane should be open by the July 4 week, but Wali is less certain for an opening date for the Hilton Garden Inn, citing shortages in subcontractors in the finishing trades, such as carpentry.
The Hilton Garden Inn will be the fourth newly built downtown Boise hotel to open since January 2017. It will join the 111-room Inn at 500 Capitol (opened January 2017), the 150-room Hyatt Place (May 2017) and the 185-room Residence Inn Boise Downtown City Center (October 2017). Work could start later this year on a fifth new downtown Boise hotel, a 138-room Home2 Suites by Hilton at Front and Sixth streets.