The votes are in for the Top Projects’ annual People’s Choice awards, and the winners for each of the five categories are sure to impress.
This year, due to the continuing COVID-19 outbreak, the People’s Choice awards were determined through an online survey, rather than in-person voting during the awards event. The survey was available on Survey Monkey starting on Aug. 28 and closed at noon on Sept. 16.
In the Private category, the big winner was downtown Boise mixed-use condo and commercial development the Afton’s Phase 2 expansion. The Afton had not taken home a trophy in the overall Top Projects contest, which is decided by a panel of judges, but it was the clear favorite on the People’s Choice survey, earning 20% of the overall vote.
Another runaway winner in the People’s Choice Contest was the Boise State University Center for the Visual Arts, which earned the honor in the Public category and also won Project of the Year in the overall Top Projects competition. At 98,000 square feet, the facility took more than two years to complete at a cost of roughly $42 million. The facility consists of two interconnected buildings: the five-story curved limestone and glass-clad structure serves as studio space and faculty offices, while the blue stainless steel shingle-clad structure houses galleries, classrooms and administrative functions.
In the Renovation category, Tenth and Main Office Building Kount Tenant Improvement earned the People’s Choice award. It was second place for Renovation in the overall Top Project contest. The project included increasing the height to five stories by adding a level to the roof. The design team took pains to maintain as much of the historic façade, which dates back to the 1920s, as possible.
The final two categories featured winners who had not placed in the overall Top Projects contest but were the People’s favorites.
For Infrastructure/Utility, the 2nd Street and Lenora Street, Phase 1B Surface Improvements took home the People’s Choice prize. The project is part of an overall redevelopment of downtown McCall, also known as the Downtown Core Reconstruction, and cost nearly $3 million. The improvements included revisions to the existing roadway sections, additions and upgrades to sidewalks and parking, enhanced crosswalks for pedestrian safety, implementation of street landscaping, and drainage and utility improvements within the project corridors.
In the Transportation category, US-95 Weiser River RR Bridge was the People’s Choice winner. The project consisted of the removal of the existing bridge over the Weiser River and constructing a larger bridge in the same location. The Weiser River Bridge project was multifaceted, including a temporary work platform, demolition of the existing structure, an MSE retaining wall, drilled shaft foundations, driving of H pile, setting of precast columns, pier caps and girders.
The overall Top Projects winners, judged by six experts in development, were announced on Sept. 15 during a virtual awards program. A publication highlighting each winner will be published online and in print on Sept. 18.