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Funky art project, James Beard-nominated chef to give new vibe to Downtown Boise landmark

The former Capitol Terrace building at Main St. and 8th St. got an exterior revamp over the past year. Now changes are coming to the inside.

Hawkins Companies bought the building, now known as Main + Marketplace, in 2017.

Late last year, two long-time local restaurants closed: Shige and Piper Pub.

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Now Hawkins has a big new tenant signed, but they are being tight-lipped on what is coming.

Company representatives appeared in front of the Capital City Development Corporation earlier this month to outline possible changes to the building. CCDC and Hawkins are 50/50 partners in many of the common areas of the building, and Hawkins is looking to take on more financial and design responsibility, which will need CCDC’s approval.

Three-time James Beard nominee-anchored restaurant

During a presentation to the Capital City Development Company early this month, Hawkins Co.’s Brian Vaughn said they’ve signed a new restaurant tenant for the building.

Public records and leasing documents indicate the new restaurant will take up all of the former Piper Pub space, as well as a portion of the former Shige.

“We are excited for that restaurant to be announced,” Vaughn told CCDC. “The chef has been nominated three times for a James Beard.”

Vaughn said he was under a non-disclosure agreement on the name of the tennant, but said they would take up about 5,000 square feet on the south end of the building.

“They have (sought) Boise out. They were able to do another deal in the west and looked at some larger markets than Boise,” he said. “Due to their internal studies, they feel Boise is right for them.”

Vaughn said the restaurant would operate all day from morning until night.

“We think that they will be a vibrant part of the city.”

A Hawkins Company representative would not elaborate further on the name of the restaurant.

A second eatery

Rendering of revamped patio space of the former Shige at Main + Marketplace. Via CTA Architects.

Hawkins is also working to secure another restaurant for the remainder of the vacant second floor space. Vaughn said they are working to secure a lease.

They may revamp the current patio area to be larger and more self-contained.

“Our plan to fill in space with a new patio space,” he said. “That would allow the patio to have a more convenient layout so they can effectively floorplan. We’ve also looked at how to make that area a little more climate control and not as resource wasting.”

New stairwell, interactive art exhibit

Rendering of the backside of a new stairwell planned for the first floor of Main + Marketplace. Via CTA Architects

A new stairwell is proposed to connect the first and second floors along 8th St. It would sit behind the current escalators near Donut Daze.

“We are trying to make that more open and act as a problem solver with the escalators when they go down,” Vaughn said. “It would also lift up the occupancy level of the (for fire code) building and make it more sustainable.”

They are also looking at an interactive art exhibit for a dark hallway that wraps around behind the retail tenants on 8th Street, connecting with Main St.

“We are working on an expriment with the back hallway,” he said. “These lights would hang on a string and people could draw murals. It would have an ability for people to be interactive with it. Our goal is to make this a 365-day art exhibit.

The LED lights would be changable, giving passersby the ability to draw or create images.

“We are trying to find reasons for it to be exciting and draw people in,” Vaughn said.

He said they might also secure the hallway after business hours.

“Some things have happened in that coridoor. We don’t want to make it a dark Neverland that people never go into.”

Still a local focus

CCDC commissioners asked Vaughn about the changing tenant mix – since the signed restaurant lease is for an out-of-state concept.

“We’ve lost some local tenants and hope to bring some new tenants that bring in new vibrancy,” hew said. “Most people would come in from an investment standpoint and raise rents. We are a locked down for a long time on the leases.”

He said the Balcony Club is “the anchor” for the property, and said they are why it’s been successful.

“We do see it as a center that has a long local presence there.”

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