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ACHD tore down homes to widen a road. Now new, affordable homes will go in on the remaining land

Acme, LLC won approval from Boise’s City Council Tuesday to build eight small cottages on Ustick Rd. The ground used to be owned by the Ada County Highway District, but the private developer bought the lot for the infill housing project.

The idea is to build a series of eight homes of smaller size at a pricepoint below the market average.

Site plan

“It’s very difficult to find a $215,000 or $220,000 price point in this market,” Marcel Lopez with Acme told council members. “We’ve been trying to figure out how to get into smaller footprint sites.”

Lopez framed the project as an alternative to apartment living or spendier, larger homes. Zillow says the current median price of a home in Ada County is $295,000.

[Report: Boise apartment rents are spiking, occupancy high]

The homes will go up at Ustick Rd. and Wildwood Lane in West Boise. ACHD purchased land and tore down four houses on the site to make way for the widening of Ustick Rd., leaving the remnant parcel.

Each of the eight new homes will be about 900 square feet, plus a detached one-car garage. Shared parallel parking for visitors and guests will be provided on a shared alleyway behind the homes.

“We have designed homes to address the property’s limitations and still provide a quality, comfortable and affordable home for the residents,” Lopez wrote in an application letter. “The homes are two-story and are 890 square feet. With a 7-foot front and 6-foot back porches, the home provides a mix of efficient design, affordable prices, and comfortable living space.”

One neighbor spoke against the project, citing parking concerns.

Ultimately, the Boise City Council voted unanimously to approve the Ustick Cottages.

Lopez said this type of project could spawn others of a similar type

“We’ve been trying to figure out how to get into the small footprint site,” he said. “It complements the character of almost every neighborhood we would go in”

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Don Dayhttp://linkedin.com/in/donday
Don has been covering news in Boise for 20 years. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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