Developer hopes to rehab, expand old Brownfield's building

Prosthetic maker Brownfield's moved out of Downtown to Meridian after 56 years at 5th and Idaho late last year. Now the building owner wants to revamp the space and add a second story - but hurdles remain.

Brownsfield's still owns the building, and hopes to use the existing building for a future restaurant tenant, plus a retail space and office on the second floor.  The old, brown, dated shopping center-looking building would get a modern new look with brick, steel, wood and a blue painted stucco.

The restaurant would have seating for about 50 people, with the adjoining retail space featuring about 2,700 square feet of space.  Tenants are not named.

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The project has to pass muster with Boise's historic preservation panel - even though the existing Brownfield's building isn't exactly historic.  It sits inside the boundaries of the Old Boise district which adds the tougher review standards.

In the applicant's letter - it is clear that city staff want the applicant to tear down the building and reorient it toward the street. A 16-space parking lot sits between the building and the street currently.

"While we can appreciate the reasoning behind this, it is simply not a financially viable option given, among other reasons, the Owner's desire to capture the value of the existing basement level area and to retain the current parking count," architect Walter Lindgren wrote. 

"We wholeheartedly acknowledge and respect the City’s vision for this corner and understand this proposal may not likely garner Staff's support; however, it appears this proposal does meet the Level I Improvement criteria under the City’s established standards for building additions and remodels."

Lindgren is proposing new streetscapes on the Idaho St. and 5th St. sides of the project - and notes his team has been in contact with the Capital City Development Corporation to access public dollars to help make those improvements happen.

The public hearing is set for June 26th.

Thanks, Frank, for the tip!