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North End landmark to be preserved, surrounded by new homes

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Plans are in for a new subdivision that would add eight homes to the property around the Booth Home in Boise’s North End neighborhood.

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The Salvation Army started operating the Booth Home in 1921. The non-profit is in the process of moving its operations to a new campus on Emerald St. in West Boise. The building houses the Marian Pritchett School – and the Salvation Army sold the campus at the corner of 25th St. and Bella St. to a developer.

George Cooper of Westminster Homes owns the site and is proposing the development to the City of Boise.

Here’s Westminster proposes for the site:

  • The Booth Home building and chapel building would remain. The plan proposes condos for both structures, with three housing units in the Booth building and two in the chapel.
  • Crews would demolish two additional buildings on the site.
  • The proposal includes eight new single-family homes on the site, each facing out toward 25th St., 24th St., or Bella St. A vacated alleyway through the center of the property would be recreated, allowing garages in the back.
  • Some of the homes would also include “accessory dwelling units” over the garages.
  • The current zoning allows for up to 14 housing units on the property, and the plan proposes 13.

Old buildings, new condos

The Booth Home building would remain largely as is on the outside

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“The exterior will be retained and restored as necessary, and windows replaced, but otherwise will remain unchanged in order to maintain the historical character and Colonial Revival/Neo-Georgian architecture style,” Ben Semple with Rodney Evans + Partners PLLC wrote in an application letter.

The Chapel would also stay mostly the same and keep its mid-century modern styling.

If approved, the project would start in phases. The idea is to allow construction before the Salvation Army has fulled moved to its new site.

“The phased development will allow the existing buildings to be utilized for ancillary purposes by the developer, as well as provide for transitional use by the Salvation Army, as they are moving their offices and Marian Pritchett School operations to a new facility in Boise,” Semple wrote.

Plaza and landscaping

The plans call for a public plaza along 24th St. in front of the Booth building.

It would contain historical information, seating areas and landscaping. The idea is to “provide for historic information on the previous use of the site,” Semple wrote.

Crews will cut down an unspecified number of trees on the site to make way for the new buildings, but the letter says they will add 54 new trees.

“This will continue to provide a park-like setting, and reflect the nature of the surrounding neighborhood,” he wrote.

Public hearings

The project will go before Boise’s Historic Preservation Commission on May 20th at 6 p.m. at Boise City Hall.

The project will face a separate hearing relating to the subdivision of the property. The public will have its say on that portion on Monday, June 10th in front of Boise’s Planning and Zoning Commission at 6 p.m. at Boise City Hall.

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