Boise Bench farm could see around 1,000 new rental homes with plans for Simunich site trickling out

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A one-time farm on the Boise Bench could soon see a large new development – or two.

As BoiseDev reported last summer, a portion of the Simunich property went up for sale. Now, a permit application details what might happen on two-thirds of the site, with a possible future application for the other one-third coming soon.

In short, a significant number of multi-family homes for rent.

The site is the former family farm wedged between Victory Rd. and the New York Canal below the second Boise bench. The Simunich family long owned various properties across the Boise Bench, and have held this site as far as records with the Ada Co. Assessor are available. The Simunich’s applied with the City of Boise last year to subdivide the property and sold two-thirds of the site last year.

Vista Point

That buyer was EPC Boise Victory Road – controlled by Welltower of Toledo, OH, and Layton Construction of Sandy, Utah. The firms applied last month with the City of Boise to build 800 residential units on a 44-acre portion of the former farm.

BoiseDev requested application records from the City of Boise under Idaho’s open records act. The records had not been uploaded to the city’s online permitting system for more than a month after the application was submitted.

The developers are also at work on a somewhat-similar project elsewhere on Victory Rd., just south of the Boise School District site called Victory Flats.

Welltower hopes to build a series of single-family, townhome-style, and apartment unit homes on the site. A total of 170 different buildings are planned – none for sale, all for rent.

[Another large apartment project proposed for currently quiet corner of Downtown Boise]

Here’s how the plan breaks down:

  • Two five-story apartment buildings with garage-style ground-level parking on the ground level and four floors of apartments above. These would sit on the western portion of the site.
  • A set of four-, five- and six-plex townhomes in the middle of the site. The homes would include two-car garages loaded from rear alleys, as well as private patio space.
  • A mix of one- and two-story houses with two-, three- and four-bedrooms.
Site plan for Vista Point in Boise, ID. Via Kimley-Horn

The site plan for the project shows a large number of amenities, including dog parks, a playground, a trail system, and general open space. Parking for 1,180 cars is included in parking garages, garages in houses, and in parking lots.

“This highly-amenitized community includes clubhouse and fitness facilities, with an outdoor swimming pool, a playground, multiple sets of pickleball courts, a dog park, covered gathering spaces, and five pocket parks throughout,” Alex Drecksel with Welltower wrote in an application letter. “Further, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity is a priority with this development, as evidenced by the extensive pathway network connecting the multiple pocket parks and amenities.”

Homes would range from 500 square foot studio apartments to 2,042 square foot four-bedroom houses.

To move forward as planned, the Vista Point project will need a significant number of approvals from the City of Boise. It will need to win approval for rezoning from its current A-1 agricultural use to R-3, the densest residential designation. The project will need planned unit development and conditional use permits. Welltower and Layton are also asking for a height exception to build taller than allowed and a setback variance to allow for smaller setbacks on the single-family homes.

Apartments, and more

Even with the large Vista Point project, it would leave nearly a third of the site undeveloped.

According to property records and State of Idaho business entity records, that portion of the property is still controlled by an entity related to the Simunich family.

The overall Simunich site was split last year, with the easternmost 40 acres for the Welltower project. The western part of the property, about 20 acres, could be split again, with an apartment project on 18 acres, and an unknown fate for the last piece.

Las Vegas, Nevada-based developer Morgan Stonehill held a neighborhood meeting for the apartment project last week. The developer has not yet formally filed a plan with the City of Boise, and cannot until ten days after the neighborhood meeting, which would mean an application could show up as early as this week.

Morgan Stonehill is behind a project along Overland Rd. in Meridian it calls Season at Meridian, which includes 360 apartment units.

A site plan shared with neighbors shows a possible additional split of the property, with about 18 acres for an apartment community with ten apartment buildings, as well as space for parking, a clubhouse, and a pool. The western-most portion of the property is not a part of the Morgan Stonehill plan sent to neighbors.

Ahead of the formal application submission, if any, it’s unclear how many units might be proposed for the site. Morgan Stonehill told neighbors in its letter it would a rezone, a planned unit development permit, and design review.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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