BoDo owners buy Jefferson Place office building

Teya Vitu//October 4, 2018

BoDo owners buy Jefferson Place office building

Teya Vitu//October 4, 2018

Jefferson Place at Ninth and Jefferson streets in downtown Boise is under new ownership. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The Wisconsin billionaire owner of downtown Boise’s BoDo is now also the owner of the Chicago-style Jefferson Place office building at Ninth and Jefferson streets.

The five-story, brick structure built in 1914 was acquired June 9 by Hendricks Commercial Properties in Beloit, Wisconsin, owned by Diane Hendricks, considered the second richest self-made woman in America.

Hendricks Commercial Properties acquired the office building where U.S. Sen. James E. Risch has his Boise office from Jacksons Food Stores Inc., itself a multi-billion dollar Boise company that has owned the structure long known as the Elk’s building since 2000.

The assessed value of Jefferson Place is $4.89 million, according to Ada County Assessor records.

“That building is really the sort of product we like,” said Rob Gerbitz, CEO of Hendricks Commercial Properties.

Gerbitz said Hendrick expects to redo the lobby and complete some tenant improvement work but leave Jefferson Place mostly as it is.

Midwesterners are gobbling up downtown real estate. David Baum of Chicago owns nearly the entire block of Eighth, Idaho, Ninth and Bannock streets.

“We really like the Boise market,” Gerbitz said. “We just constantly keep our eyes open for what becomes available. We’ve looked at The Owyhee. It’s a great building. We like it.”

Wisconsin-based Hendricks Commercial Properties has owned BoDo for about a year. File Photo.

Hendricks picked up the BoDo retail/office complex on Oct. 25, 2017, for $25 million, with intentions to redo the façade to better match the century-old 8th Street Marketplace across the street.

“The BoDo buildings are well built, but they don’t have the feel of the buildings across the street,” said Gerbitz, referencing  8th Street Marketplace. “Our job is to get (BoDo) so they feel like that.”

Hendricks has done extensive design work for a new BoDo look, but Gerbitz expects the approval process to extend well into 2019 before façade work begins.

“We don’t rush,” he said. “We’re not looking to flip BoDo or sell it.”

Gerbitz said Hendricks Commercial is attracted to Boise because of the relationships he has built with civic leaders.

“You can’t do that everywhere,” he said.