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‘Impressive’ new addition to Boise skyline about to take off

A long-awaited new addition to the Downtown Boise skyline is about to start sprouting up.

Scott Schoenherr with Rafanelli and Nahas said permits are in with City of Boise on the 11th and Idaho retail and office project. He aims to get crews on site to start construction this August. The permit values the project at $27.7 million.

“It’s going to be really quick,” he said. “It’s going to come out of the ground quick and we expect to move tenants to quick and be ready by the end of next year.”

He said the project doesn’t yet have any tenants signed but thinks leasing will come together once the project is underway.

“We are talking to a lot of people – tough to get people to sign when you can’t tell them when you are going to start construction,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of interest, a lot of banks and all the people you’d think of. I think we’ll get it leased up really quickly.”

His company represents more than a million square feet of space in the area and has just 11,000 vacant. The overall office market is tight, but Schoenherr said they are in it for the long haul with the project.

“The market is good right now, but we don’t want to get caught up in that. We believe if you build special things you can always lease them up, so we’re going to build something that’s really a special building. It’s really a different building.”

[Downtown BizPrint could give way to new residential & retail tower]

The 11th & Idaho plan

Many projects start with a big idea and go through a process known as value engineering – where the project is made to fit the budget.

“(That process) takes out all the nice stuff,” Schoenherr said. “We’re going the other way. We are spending money on stuff that other people wouldn’t, and it will be in a league of its own.”

11th and Idaho lobby
Rendering of the lobby for 11th and Idaho in Boise. Via Perkins+Will

BoiseDev first outlined the design last August. The overall look for the 10-story project is similar to the former Boise Cascade HQ building across Bannock St. – now known as Boise Plaza. R&N owns both projects. The 11th and Idaho building will have a rooftop deck with views in all directions of downtown and the foothills. Retail tenants will take space on the ground floor with offices above.

It will feature a total of 192,000 square feet of space, with a large lobby feature and ceiling glass windows.

“We used Perkins+Will which is one of the largest architecture firms in the country,” he said. “They’ve done a really good job doing making something you haven’t seen in Boise.”

New downtown public park

Rendering of downtown park concept. Via GGLO

Work on a new public park and plaza will start in April, Schoenherr said. The Boise City Council approved participation in the project last week, and work should start in April of 2020, with the aim to open it with the new building late next year.

“Open space is important to Boise. If you are going to add density it really needs some green space and things to ground it,” he said. But another, practical reason played into the decision to dedicate part of the land to a public park. “When it comes down to nuts and bolts, property on a park is worth more than not on a park. The most expensive real estate in New York City is along Central Park.”

He hopes the new 11th and Idaho will add something of value to downtown.

“We don’t have a lot of impressive buildings in Boise, but this is going to be really special.”

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
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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