Apartments could replace two long-standing Boise restaurant buildings

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Two long-standing Boise restaurants could be torn down if a preliminary plan filed with the City of Boise moves forward.

CA Ventures, a Chicago-based development firm, held a pre-application meeting with the city last week for a three-building apartment project at the corner of Capitol Blvd. and Yale Ln. The project would replace Elmer’s restaurant, Papa Joe’s restaurant, and an empty surface lot.

The preliminary plan shown to the city could change or not move forward to the formal application stage. The plan calls for 90 apartment units across three buildings, with apartments ranging from studio to five-bedroom configurations. The plan shows a total of 206 bedrooms.

The project would also include a ground-floor parking garage as well as possible retail space.

CA Ventures preliminary site plan shown to City of Boise planers.

The Elmer’s restaurant dates back to 1978. Both the restaurant property and parking lot across the street are owned by Elmer’s Restaurants Inc. The diner-style eatery features breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is a popular spot for weekend breakfast-seekers. The Capitol Blvd. location is the last one remaining in the Treasure Valley for the northwest chain.

The Papa Joe’s property is owned by Boise developer David Wali. Wali is executive vice president for Gardner Co., but he owns the site outside his Gardner role.

Papa Joe’s is located inside the Totem Building, which dates to 1953, according to property records. However, Preservation Idaho dates the building to 1936. The building served a variety of tenants over the years, including West Rest Furniture, Dixon’s Seafood, and others.

CA Ventures is also behind other apartment projects in the area, a 500-bedroom project aimed at students on Lusk St. near the Boise River, as well as the Identity Boise development on Boise Ave. The firm calls itself a “global real estate investment management company.” CA Ventures develops an array of residential projects, including concepts aimed at college students and seniors.

If the project moves forward to the formal application phase, it will need a number of approvals from the City of Boise, including to rezone the property from commercial to residential.

The Lusk District neighborhood, which is wedged between Ann Morrison Park, Boise State, the Boise River and the Boise Bench has seen a boom in apartments in recent years, with more than half a dozen large apartment complexes either built or proposed. The apartments cater primarily to students at Boise State University.

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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