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Dogs, tech & bikes: first look inside new downtown residential project

The halls and rooms at The Gibson at 5th & Idaho are starting to bustle with residents for the first time. Residents first started moving into the six-story apartment project late last year, but crews are still working to finish up a few final touches.

Clay Carley of Old Boise LLC, Dean Papé of deChase Miksis and Peter Oliver of Thornton Oliver Keller gave BoiseDev the first media tour of the building last week. The trio, along with property owner Tim Gibson formed 5th & Idaho LLC to build the project.

Gibson Fifth and Idaho
The Gibson at 5th and Idaho in Downtown Boise features apartments on five floors centered around a park space. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

One building, three looks

The building is on a public plaza, developed with the Capital City Development Corporation. It features open space with an artificial turf bed to provide green grass year around.

The building features multiple different facades, including two colors of brick and a stucco segment designed to evoke Boise’s sandstone design motif.

“(The idea) was to make it appear to be three different buildings instead of one massive building,” Carley said. “And then to pull materials from historic past. Obviously, there’s lots of brick and using two different kinds of bricks allowed us to make it look like two different buildings.”

Carley said the project architects at GGLO worked to help the project fit in its environment.

“Rather than trying to cram as much density into the site as possible. (GGLO’s) first inclination was ‘let’s pull this back so the Adelman building is clearly visible,'” Carley said of Gibson Fifth and Idaho. “So when you’re driving down this one-way street you get a full perspective on the historic district.”

An open-air deck on the top floor of the building provides sweeping views of Downtown Boise, including the Statehouse and central business district. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“We are trying to create something really unique for the long term that fits into the neighborhood,” Oliver said. “We have 14 different floor plans. I tell that to other apartment developers and they laugh because they have three different floor plans, four at the most. (We did that) to try and create that variety and different options for people.”

Gibson Fifth and Idaho restaurant
A future restaurant is slated for a ground-floor retail space overlooking 5th St. and Idaho St. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

New restaurant on Fifth and Idaho

A ground floor retail space will likely house a new restaurant tenant. Carley said a formal agreement is close but not yet signed.

“This will be just one restaurant in here, end with the roll-up door and this park access and the view to the historic neighborhood. It’s going to be a pretty unique space,” Carley said.

The restaurant space allows light on three sides, including Fifth Street, Idaho Street and the pocket park. Outdoor dining will be tucked off the street next to the park.

[Project Tracker: Gibson Fifth and Idaho]

Focus on tech

Inside the building, a number of premium features have been provided for tenants.

“We have an app that’s still being developed for the project that I’m hearing the tenants love,” Carley said. “When (residents) move in if there’s an issue or anything they are concerned about, they take a picture that goes into the app. It becomes a part of the lease and goes to the management company and shows them when I moved in.”

Heating in each of the individual units is controlled on a per room basis, allowing a different temperature in the living room or bedroom space for instance.

Bike storage is provided on the ground floor and on each individual residential floor. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Bikes and cars

Bike storage is provided throughout the building, and Papé said it’s been a key feature for residents living in an urban environment.

“Our tenants are not always a one bike person – more like two or three. You know some of the people don’t want to co-mingle their high-end mountain bike or road bike,” he said. “So we actually have lockable storage in the basement and lockable storage on each floor that allows for a bike to be hung in that locker area.”

The project features an underground parking garage – and overall the development features one parking spot per unit – less than the ‘one space per bedroom plus guests’ design seen in many more suburban developments.

Papé said the parking seems to be about right.

“Some people have needed two spaces, but that’s been offset by people who don’t have a car at all,” Papé said.

Detailed living spaces

On each of the main residential floors, a historic photo of Boise’s past greets residents and visitors as they get off the elevator.

Gibson interior
Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev
5th and Idaho interior
Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“We are trying to have nice generous hallways as you can see and indentions for the doors so it didn’t have a whole barrcks feel to it,” Oliver said.

The units at Gibson Fifth and Idaho have with wood-look floors, full-size appliances and quartz countertops.

“We also went overboard on the windows,” Carley said. “We wanted to have as much glass as possible.”

Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev
Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

The project did not include balconies due to cost and potential maintenance issues according to Carley. But some units include a full-size door with railing that allows residents to get airflow and be able to take one step outside.

Dogs & decks at the Gibson Fifth and Idaho

A rooftop deck on the fifth floor provides sweeping views of the Idaho Statehouse and buildings in the downtown core. It will include amenities for guests like barbecues and more.

Dogs are a focus for the project too.

“We have a pet wash station,” Carley said. “It’s a stainless steel elevated bin so it’s easy to wash your pet. Around the corner we have a dog park. Just a small little turf area that has sprinklers and chemicals in it to keep it clean.”

Units range from 541 square foot studios to two-bedroom two-bath apartments of more than 1,200 square feet.

Brownstone-style units with external access and provide outdoor space line the first floor of the project. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Along 5th St. and an internal alley are a series of two-floor studios with stoops set back from the street and a second-floor loft space.

Finishing touches on the building are wrapping up and leasing is ongoing.

Lighting feature as seen from below in one of the two-story units. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

More to read

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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