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First look at new vision for Bodo: major changes on the way inside and out

Tamarack Resort Q4 2020

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Bodo in Downtown Boise will soon have a totally new look and focus.

Hendricks Commercial Properties purchased several large portions of the development in 2017, and teams started work on reimagining the project in the years since.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Hendricks CEO Rob Gerbitz said. “We are going to reimagine the whole outside. When we bought this, this was the vision and what we thought we could do.”

That vision includes an expansive new food hall concept – and a total revamp of the outside of the main Bodo building along Front St. and 8th St.

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Tamarack Resort Q4 2020
116 & West

The firm, backed by billionaire Diane Hendricks, now owns Bodo, The Jefferson Place building and The Owyhee.

[New boutique hotel planned next to The Owyhee]

Food hall to come

In April, Gerbitz hopes to start work on a big food hall space that would take up the entire expanse of building along 8th St. Current retailers LOFT and Upcycle would close in their current locations. Caffe D’arte and The STIL would remain, and anchor the new space.

“D’arte and The STIL would be able to expand and be able to a part of the experience as a whole,” Gerbitz said.

In a conceptual floorplan reviewed by BoiseDev, the coffee retailer and ice cream shop would remain on the south side of the building, but open up into the larger food hall space.

An early rendering of the food hall concept. Via Hendrics Commercial Properties

Gerbitz said there would be space for as many as 16 vendors. In all, the food hall would take up nearly 19,000 square feet. That would make it one of the largest open retail spaces in Downtown Boise. (As a comparison, the Trader Joe’s grocery store nearby is 13,184 square feet – a full 30% smaller).

He said tenants will have about 500 square feet with a large open dining space. The focus will be on local businesses, with the possibility of a few regional options (like Seattle’s D’arte) mixed in.

“Locally is usually your base – that’s where you grow it from,” Gerbitz said. “It gives a lot of local people who might not have the capital to open a 3,000 square foot restaurant – they might be able to do 500.”

In Indianapolis, Hendricks crews continue to build out The Garage – a similar overall idea to the Boise project. That space has vendors providing cupcakes, ice cream, poke, and more.

In addition to food, Gerbitz said spaces for other vendors – like a small record store, barber or an artist could mix in.

“I’d like to see that happen,” he said. “It gives it a bit of diversity. It’s going to be food dominant of course.”

Voicebox Karaoke, already announced, will sit next to the food hall along Front St. Other than Voicebox, STIL and D’arte, no other tenants are signed.

Future phases could bring changes to other parts of the project as well.

Old look for new buildings

The outside of the building will also see a dramatic update. The current modern-styled stone and brick facade will give way to a more varied exterior.

“I like making new buildings look and feel old,” Gerbitz said. “On one of our other projects, a lady said to me ‘you guys have done such a phenomenal job of rehabbing this old building.’ The building was only a year old!”

Developer Mark Rivers launched the project he called Bodo in 2005. The properties sold several times over the years before landing in Hendricks’ hands.

“If you stand at D’arte (looking south), you see great old beautiful buildings,” Gerbitz said. “The Bodo side is a suburban product. We want to bring it back to being a downtown product. That’s why you’re seeing that vision. We feel strongly about that. There’s something that feels right to people.”

Clarification: LOFT & Upcycle will close their current locations in Bodo, but may relocate. A previous version of this story was less precise about their future status.

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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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