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Washington bank sees opportunity in Boise, buys BodyBuilding HQ

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Washington Federal Bank of Seattle acquired the large BodyBuilding.com headquarters building on Meeker Ave. in Boise.

The bank completed the $15.25 million deal for the 11-acre site and nearly 100,000 square foot building in December.

It currently houses the world headquarters for BodyBuilding.com, a seller of supplements and other health products. Washington Federal purchased the building from a holding company controlled by BBcom.

“We’re planning on by the end of the month or early February to move about 100 employees in there,” Washington Federal SVP, Director of Marketing Communications Brad Gode said. “We’re already bursting at the seams at the Boise Main branch.”

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BodyBuilding, a unit of Liberty Expedia holdings through its Vitalize subsidiary, will remain in the building for now under a lease agreement. The company will take up about 54,000 square feet of space.

Washington Federal will initially take a third to a half of the leasable space with room to grow in the future, Goode said.

“We can’t say when, but we are happy that it gives us potential breathing room down the road. We are looking at Boise as number one in our 8-state footprint to really grow the bank.”

[BodyBuilding.com gives run down HS gym a “Boise State”-level makeover]

Expansion and tech in Boise for Washington Federal

“The Washington Federal acquisition of the BBC property, with its many amenities, provides us the opportunity to expand our operational presence in the Treasure Valley and the State of Idaho,” Washington Federal Regional President Tom Van Hemelryck said. “We’re proud to be contributing future jobs to our local economy.”

BodyBuilding.com completed a remodel on the building for its use in 2013, according to records from the Ada County Assessor. The building was first constructed in 1990 and consists of two stories and a daylight basement.

In its 2018 annual report, the bank said it planned to beef up operations in Boise. Goode said the company has already added about 25 people in IT.

“Our second IT hub is in Boise, and we’ve done a lot of hiring already there,” he said. “It’s a growing tech hub and the quality of life gets mentioned in every magazine as the best place to live and it is affordable. In a (nationwide) economy where the unemployment rate is basically zero, Boise is a great opportunity because people want to live there.”

Washington Federal has 12 branch locations across SW Idaho and SE Oregon. It has 24 branches in the State of Idaho. Idaho customers have more than $800,000,000 deposited with the bank according to filings, a 7.3% increase over the prior year.

BBcom laid off about 90 employees just before Christmas 2016. Two months later, the company’s CEO abruptly left the company after just more than a year on the job. The company will mark 20 years in business next month.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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