Mike Mussell is about to get going on his next downtown Nampa historic renovation project with the Church of the Brethren structure and former Nampa Chamber of Commerce building on the same half block on 11th Avenue South.
The $640,000 sale to Mussel closes Sept. 18 on the Nampa Development Corp. property that was originally pegged as the site for the new main library.
Mussell, owner of Mussell Construction, expects to start work Oct. 1 on a $3-million creation that he’s calling Nampa Town Square.
Mussell intends to keep five of the six buildings on the block, including the 1930s church, and freshen up the other building facades in a French village style. He will lay small pathways between the buildings on the property to create a more pedestrian-friendly setting.
In addition, the Nampa Town Square plan includes a new structure with drive-thru for Taco Time, which has been at its current location on the same block for 50 years. Mussell will renovate the current Taco Time for another restaurant user.
One corner of Nampa Town Square will feature a “Welcome to Nampa” sign supplied by the city of Nampa and possibly a fountain.
“It is the first (stop) light you come to to go left into downtown,” said Mussell.
Mussell is also the developer behind the major renovations of the 1922 Masonic Lodge building that he acquired in 2007, where Brick 29 Bistro is, and the 1919 Nampa Library building, which is the new home of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce.
Nampa Town Square is at the same intersection as the new library and its public garage, where Mussell will encourage Nampa Town Square visitors to park.
Mayor Debbie Kling, before taking office, was the CEO of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce and had her office in the building that Mussell is renovating.
“Mike Mussell is so creative, and he has an amazing vision for how to maintain and restore historic integrity,” Kling said. “The work he did with the old library building is absolutely beautiful. We are very fortunate to have Mike Mussell in our community.”
Mussel does not have tenants nailed down for the church or chamber buildings yet.
“I’m just feeling it out,” he said.
Three options are in play for the church: another church, a performance arts center or a brewery/pizza establishment. The chamber building and neighboring building could have a bicycle shop, candy store or floral shop.
Mussell owns five-eighths of the block bounded by 11th and 10th avenues and Third and Fourth streets, and the Cornerstone Worship Center owns the other three-eighths and is also doing façade renovations. Mussell sees the entire block as Nampa Town Square.
“We try to save a few historic buildings,” he said.
The Old Brethren Church is the third downtown Nampa historic restoration within a block or two of each other for Mussell.
Mussell was awarded the old library building for $1 in 2015 from the Nampa Development Corp., the city’s redevelopment agency, and finished $2.5 million in renovations in October 2017. The building is now 95 percent occupied by the chamber, Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy Center, One11 Press, Edward Jones and the Dickerson Land Group.
For Mussell, renovating the Old Brethren Church building comes full circle for him and his wife, Patty.
“I got married in that building 30 years ago,” he said.