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Former Nampa mall parking lot finds new life as multi-use development

Marc Lutz//September 12, 2023

Karcher Mall Redevelopment

An artist's rendering shows an example of the multi-family dwelling units at District 208, formerly the Karcher Mall, in Nampa.

Former Nampa mall parking lot finds new life as multi-use development

Marc Lutz//September 12, 2023

The Karcher Mall, in Nampa, was originally built in 1965. In its time, it saw a myriad of tenants and ownership, eventually being sold to Livermore, California-based Rhino Investments in 2019.

It has taken a lot of work, but new life has been brought to the property. Renamed District 208, the site is now a mixed-use, multi-family development and will welcome its first families on Thursday.

Construction on the site at West Karcher Road and 3rd Street South began in February 2022, with Boise-based Engineered Structures Inc. (ESI) as the general contractor. About 81,000 square feet of the original mall’s floor plan was demolished to make way for the new development.

The project is being divided into four phases. The completion of the first phase, which includes 96 apartment units, is being celebrated on Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The remaining three phases are expected to be completed by next spring of next year.

According to a release, “District 208 will consist of 252 housing units, a 4,500-square-foot amenity-packed clubhouse and a swimming pool.”

The apartments are housed in three-story walk-up buildings and are a mix of two- and three-bedroom units.

Completing the construction on the first phase has been complicated for work crews as the 10-acre site is surrounded by a mix of existing residential and commercial properties, as well as agricultural irrigation infrastructure.

“Below that empty mall parking lot, construction teams discovered a treasure trove of old cisterns, pipes and rusty farm equipment, not to mention previously uncharted utilities,” the release, issued by ESI, stated. “The local irrigation system was part of that, and project leaders worked closely with the irrigation district and the city to make significant improvements to maintain and enhance the system’s integrity.”

The contractor worked to keep noise levels at a minimum, pathways accessible and irrigation water flowing.